Offline Stock-Outs in an Omnichannel Context: Assessing Consumer Behavior in a Digitalized Retail Landscape - a Case Study of IKEA
Controlling inventory levels has been an issue for retailers to deal with for a long time in order to provide the right supply at the right time and place and thus prevent stock-outs. Traditionally, this issue has mainly concerned the physical store. However, as retailers are adopting omnichannel strategies, out of stock (OOS) situations concern both online and offline channels. Accordingly, built on a case study on the multinational retailer IKEA, this paper presents an analysis on consumer behavior in an omnichannel context, particularly assessing consumer responses to offline stock-outs. Based on a multi-method approach, the results show that consumer responses to offline stock-outs in an omnichannel context depend on channel behavior as well as the degree of expectation on product availability. The findings illustrate the importance for retailers to view offline OOS situations in an omnichannel context and could serve as a guide for future research in studying this area.
MSc in Marketing & Consumption