Marketing Strategies in Dual-channel Supply Chain


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Awarding Institution
  • Liwen CHEN (Supervisor)
  • Liang Liang (External person) (Supervisor)
  • Qinglong Gou (External person) (Supervisor)
Award date31 Aug 2017


This dissertation studies important marketing strategies in the development of a dual-channel supply chain where the manufacturer sells through both a traditional offline channel and an online channel. Notably, consumers exhibit different purchasing behaviors in a dual-channel supply chain from those in a traditional supply chain where a manufacturer sells solely through an offline retailer. Although dual-channel supply chains have been well-studied in both the management and the marketing literature, less attention has been paid to how to manage marketing strategies considering the specific consumer purchasing behaviors in dual-channel supply chains.

This dissertation proposes theoretical models to study three important marketing strategies: pricing, distribution and advertising in a dual-channel supply chain. The first study investigates pricing competition between online and offline channels under the effects of showrooming behavior (i.e., the consumer may examine the product through an offline retailer but switch to buying from an online retailer) and the sunk cost effect (i.e., consumers who have already paid transportation costs to visit an offline retailer may be reluctant to switch to an online retailer). The second study investigates the channel choice of the manufacturer and the product assortment decisions of the online and offline channels when the manufacturer produces vertically differentiated products. The third study discusses three advertising modes: national advertising; joint advertising, where the manufacturer advertises for its online retailer and the online retailer shares a part of the advertising cost; and the cost-sharing of national advertising, where the offline retailer shares a part of the manufacturer’s national advertising cost.

To summarize, this dissertation (i) emphasizes the importance of considering consumer behaviors in making marketing decisions, (ii) investigates the interaction of supply chain members, and (iii) illustrates how marketing decisions play a crucial role in the performance of a dual-channel supply chain.

    Research areas

  • marketing, supply chain management, game theory, consumer behavior, dual-channel, pricing, showrooming, distribution, product assortment, advertising