Dr. Sussan Presented at American Marketing Association (AMA) Conference, Feb., 2016

Dr. Sussan Presented at American Marketing Association (AMA) Conference, Feb., 2016

The Moderating Effect of Adaptive Selling on the Purchase Intention of the Multichannel Consumer
Cindy B. Rippé, Tarleton State University
Suri Weisfeld-Spolter, Nova Southeastern University
Yuliya Yurova, Nova Southeastern University
Fiona Sussan, University of Phoenix
Dena Hale, Southeast Missouri State University

conference proceedings link:


Extended abstract (excerpt)

The rate of evolution and diffusion of technology has created new means for consumers to search for product information and gain increased knowledge before an actual purchase. The additional channels available for product search and purchase leads to the use of multiple channels by consumers, thereby changing the consumer’s purchase behavior. In the past, consumers encountered all stages of product delivery through mostly one channel source, the salesperson (Deeter-Schmelz and Kennedy, 2004). Today, the ability to surf and switch amongst channels (Van Dijk et al., 2007) provides consumers with an abundance of choices and more knowledge which contributes to their perceptions of control (Hui and Toffoli, 2002; Tanner, Ahearne, Leigh, Mason, and Moncrief, 2005).

In this new landscape of retailing in which certain multichannel consumers (MCCs) seemingly have more knowledge and control than the salesperson (Verbeke et al., 2010), it is unknown how or if the in-store salesperson can be used to increase MCCs’ purchase behaviors, as prior literature has not specifically addressed the persuasive role of the salesperson in the MCC environment. Recent research proposes conflicting roles of the salesperson with the implication that the salesperson is obsolete (Grewal et al.,2002), suggestions that the salesperson has been transformed to a knowledge broker (Bendixen, Yurova, Abratt, and Rawdan, 2014), and yet other scholars contrast this by claiming technology cannot replace the unique functions of the salesperson (Ahearne & Rapp, 2010). It appears a gap of agreement, understanding, and knowledge exists regarding what role, if any, the in-store salesperson has in the new shopping environment.

This paper extends adaptive selling to multichannel consumer behavior and investigates the impact of adaptive selling when “click and brick” multichannel consumers encounter in-store salespeople. We also examine how the degree of multichannel consumer search affects the perceived control of the same consumers in the retail store and how the relationship between the consumers’ perceived control and purchase intention is affected by adaptive selling. Overall, we seek to answer whether adaptive selling shows promise as a technique for retailers to use when selling to a multichannel consumer who values control..........

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