Maytag Corp. is famous for what are arguably the best washing machines and dishwashers in the world. The brand recognition and brand equity levels of Maytag products among consumers are among the highest of any consumer product. About 400,000 consumers visit Maytag’s Web site each month. But surprisingly, Maytag does not sell its products directly to consumers via its Web site. Rather, Maytag uses about 10,000 bricks and mortar retail stores. The visitor to Maytag’s Web site can examine a huge range of Maytag appliances and get detailed product in- formation. Site visitors can even select the items they want and electronically place them in a shopping cart. But consumers do not actually complete purchases from Maytag directly. Instead, consumers are asked for their zip codes, and Maytag’s specialized software directs them to the nearest independent retailers. They can then complete the purchase from the dealer online and arrange delivery or visit the store in person. Maytag likes this arrangement very much because, ac- cording to Maytag, it keeps it sin dependent dealers happy and lowers its distribution costs. What do you think about Maytag’s electronic marketing channel strategy? Is Maytag “missing the boat” by not selling directly to the vast numbers of consumers who visit its Web site every month? Discuss.
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