Factors influencing the decision to transition from Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel – A Banking Perspective

Master Thesis

2020

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Banking through insufficiently coordinated and non-integrated channels (Multi-Channel) is slowly being discarded. With Omni-Channel banking, where channels are integrated and data and information are shared across cross channels, customers are in control of the channels they wish to use. Factors influencing the organisational decision to transition from Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel hasn't been fully explored. Is this decision responding to internal factors like efficiency improvements, or is it driven by external factors like customer demands, trying to enhance customer experience, gaining competitive advantage over the competitors, expanding the business by introducing new business models, or trying to gain access to smart technologies for financial benefit? This dissertation presents research findings into the investigation of factors that influence the organisational decision to transition from Multi-Channel to Omni-Channel banking. A positivist case study with inductive reasoning was adopted. Qualitative data was collected from a single organisation through interviews together with observations of the strategy documents between January 2019 and April 2019. An initial conceptual model was derived from the literature review to guide data collection, after which thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and develop an emergent theory. The key findings from the research study are that a customer centric approach informs the decision to transition. The customer is at the centre of the omni-channel strategy: that is through an enhanced customer experience or timeously responding to customer demands. Other factors are either enabling this strategy, like technological innovations, and efficiency improvements or are the outcome of the strategy like customer satisfaction, revenue or cost optimisation, and competitive advantage. The key implications are that organisations must pay more attention to the customer journey and ensure that they advance in the Customer Experience Capability Maturity Model. Most successful business transitions to the Omni-Channel strategy require a transformation in organizational culture, operations and processes, and the underlying technologies.
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