Four-mode channel interactivity concept and channel preferences

Bela Florenthal, Aviv Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper has two purposes. First, it aims to propose an alternative conceptualization for interactivity that distinguishes between four interactivity modes: human, medium, message, and product. Second, it seeks to develop a framework of channel preferences that integrates the four-mode concept of channel interactivity. Design/methodology/approach: A synthesis of interactivity literature streaming from several disciplines (social psychology, computer science, communication, object interaction, and marketing) was used to develop the four-mode concept. A framework is proposed to illustrate how consumers' perceptions of, and preferences for, the four interactivity modes impact channel preferences. Findings: The propositions developed suggest: channels are perceived as offering different modes of interactivity; preferences for interactivity modes are shaped by personal and situational characteristics; and a match/mismatch between consumers' perceptions of and preferences for the interactivity modes determine channel preferences. Research limitations/implications: The approach allows an evaluation of particular interactive technologies, an assessment of multi-channel strategies, and an examination of consumers' satisfaction with their shopping experiences. Originality/value: The authors propose a broader approach than existing ones. It is not restricted to an online channel; it integrates consumers' interaction with products; and it enables a comparison of online and offline channels. In addition, most research has focused on perceptions of interactivity whereas the framework presented in the paper addresses perceptions of, and preferences for, interactivity modes that impact channel choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Distribution channels and markets
  • Internet
  • Internet shopping
  • Shops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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