Retailing and Online Brand Strength

7155 Words29 Pages
Original Article

The role of retailer mindset and promotional resources in strengthening online brands
Received (in revised form): 25th April 2012

Deborah A. Colton is an Associate Professor of Marketing and International Business at the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology. Her research interests include online marketing strategies and international marketing. She has articles published in the Journal of International Marketing, the Journal of World Business and the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing. With co-authors, her papers have earned awards at the American Marketing Association’s Educators’ conferences and is the 2009 recipient of the S. Tamer Cavusgil Award. She
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However, little research has considered characteristics and actions that may help retailers build their brands online. This study aims to fill that gap by considering retailer mindset and promotional resources from the theoretical perspective of the resourcebased view of the firm. This examination may reveal the resources that support a strong online brand, allowing researchers and practitioners to ascertain the relative value of investments in resources. Until the mid-1990s, many traditional corporations were not active in online retailing, leaving the ‘door wide open’ for Internet start-ups, known as ‘pure plays’. Since then, traditional retailers (a.k.a. bricks-and-clicks) have made substantial strides in establishing a presence on the Web. Of the $126.4 billion in sales in

2009, bricks-and-clicks accounted for 39.4 per cent; pure plays 34 per cent; catalog retailers 14.5 per cent and consumer product manufacturers 12.1 per cent.1 Early on, some argued that pure plays would dominate the online retailing landscape given their lower cost structures and greater knowledge about operating online. Others suggested that bricks-and-clicks would lead online retailing as their brands are stronger, their customer bases are larger and their distribution networks are established. Interestingly, both bricks-and-clicks and pure plays are
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