Informational and/or Transactional Websites: Strategic Choices in a Distribution Channel
Sigue, Simon Pierre
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While most businesses have faced the decision of whether to operate an informational and/or a transactional website, the literature on website selection in marketing channels remains very sparse. This paper proposes an analytical framework that compares scenarios where a manufacturer uses either an informational, a transactional, or both transactional and informational website in a distribution channel formed by one manufacturer and one retailer. We find that the selection of the optimal website depends on the online market base of the product, the effectiveness of the manufacturer-controlled online communications, and the cross-price effect between online and offline channels. For both the manufacturer and retailer, informational websites are preferable when the online market base is small. With larger online markets, the manufacturer may prefer either informational and transactional websites or exclusively informational websites, while the retailer is always better off with an exclusively informational website. Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
- Faculty Publications 
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