One of the major themes presented in this chapter is
One of the major themes presented in this chapter is the need for choice as to how products and services are made available to customers. Thus, multi-channel strategies that provide a wide range of channels including an Internet based online channel option have become imperative. Yet there are very successful firms that take a virtually opposite view by purposely limiting choice. A case in point is Edward Jones, a financial services company with the largest network of brokerage offices in the U.S.—more than 10,000 and still growing. Edward Jones has a Web site that its customers can visit but it does not offer its customers the option of trading online. Instead, all transactions must take place through an Edward Jones broker. Even with this single channel strategy, the company is still growing and is very profitable. Why do you think Edward Jones has been able to “buck the trend” toward multichannel strategy that would include an online channel as a key option?
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