Adaptive Selling to Ominchannel Consumers: Product Types as Moderators

Adaptive Selling to Ominchannel Consumers: Product Types as Moderators

I recently visited my dentist. The dentist assistant wanted to put some fluoride coating on my teeth and I politely declined such offer based on various reports I have read online about fluoride. Surprising, the dentist assistant told me I was misinformed about fluoride. Well, I did not have time to argue with the assistant....

Now that all consumers have conducted some kind of online search before they go to a retail store (in my case a retail service called dentist), what should salesperson's role be? From a most recent published research my co-authors and I conducted, we find that adaptive selling to omnichannel consumers (newly coined term) is necessary. In other words, one size selling technique does not fit all depending on consumers' knowledge (mostly read online) , perceived control, and product type. Salesperson's flexibility and sensitivity are keys (more necessary than before) to success to selling to omnichannel consumers. What are your experiences?


Computer-mediated technologies have resulted in a proliferation of the omni-channel consumer (OCC) who shops for products and services using mobile, online, and traditional retail channels. While OCCs may have greater access to information, they do not necessarily have access to accurate information; hence the salesperson has both a challenge as well as an opportunity to use adaptive selling techniques when selling to the OCC. To better understand under what circumstances the salesperson can best be utilized to bring about the sale with the OCC, this research develops and evaluates a model of adaptive selling behaviors when selling to omni-channel consumers around the globe. Adaptive selling behaviors are conceptualized as having two dimensions, non-interactive and interactive adaptation. The efficacy of these two types of adaptive selling behaviors depends upon product type (utilitarian, hedonic) and OCCs’ perceived control over the buying situation. To test the hypotheses, survey data was collected from global OCCs in four different countries and evaluated using path analysis. Results suggest salesperson’s influence depends upon product type and salesperson’s adaptive selling behavior. 

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