Mid July 2012, Mrs. Yvonne Littooij finished her Master thesis Marketing written about “A Multichannel Approach to the Last Mile”.
When it comes to bridging the important and difficult ‘last mile’ in e‐commerce, more and more retailers offer both home delivery services and in‐store pick up. The latter refers to online ordered products being picked and packed in a store or distribution center and sent to a selected retailer’s physical outlets for customers to collect their package their selves. Advantages of this concept for the retailer include the economic advantage of using retail outlets with pre‐established supply networks and the advantage of synergy potential, as it enhances in‐store sales.
This thesis takes a customer point of view and tries to identify determinants of channel preference in the last mile. It is proposed that convenience orientation, need for interaction, need for tangibility, distance to store, and price perception influence channel preference for home delivery and in‐store pick up. In addition, these effects are expected to differ for different product categories.