Search-purchase (S-P) strategies of multi-channel consumers: A segmentation scheme

Soyeon Shim, Mary Ann Eastlick, Sherry Lotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Our study sought to determine whether a consumer’s search-purchase (S-P) strategy could provide a viable market segmentation tool for understanding consumer’s channel choice behavior in today’s increasingly complex, multi-channel market environment. We collected data (N = 519) nationwide, using a self-administered mail survey and focusing on two product categories (books and apparel). Based on the respondent’s search-purchase channel behavior, we identified nine segments and deemed three as viable: the Physical/Physical S-P strategist, the Cross/Cross S-P strategist, and the Cross/Physical S-P strategist. Our findings indicate that a consumer’s S-P channel choice strategy is indeed a viable segmentation tool; furthermore, a consumer’s S-P channel choice strategy is influenced by the consumer’s level of sophistication in regard to the technology and by the benefits sought. We conclude by speculating on the uses that retailers could make of our study, and we propose several possible subjects for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-54
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marketing Channels
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2004


  • Channel choice strategy
  • Consumer channels
  • Consumer search process
  • Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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