Managing Multirooming (2024)


Free Access

  • Authors:
  • Yuxin Chen NYU Shanghai, Shanghai 200122, China;

    NYU Shanghai, Shanghai 200122, China;

    Managing Multirooming (1)

    Search about this author

  • Yue Dai School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;

    School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;

    Managing Multirooming (2)

    Search about this author

  • Zhe Zhang School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;

    School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China;

    Managing Multirooming (3)

    Search about this author

  • Kun Zhang School of Economics & Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China

    School of Economics & Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China

    Managing Multirooming (4)

    Search about this author

Management ScienceVolume 70Issue 5May 2024pp 3102–3122

Published:03 July 2023Publication History

  • 0citation
  • 0
  • Downloads


Total Citations0Total Downloads0

Last 12 Months0

Last 6 weeks0

Management Science

Volume 70, Issue 5


Managing Multirooming (5)

Skip Abstract Section


Retailers managing both online and offline channels have to decide whether to adopt the uniform (i.e., charging the same price online and offline) or dual (i.e., charging different prices online and offline) pricing strategy. This decision is made even more challenging as consumers are increasingly multirooming as they may search offline and then purchase online (showrooming) or the other way around (webrooming). In this paper, we develop an analytical model to examine such a decision. The model takes into consideration (1) consumers’ uncertainty about digital and nondigital product attributes, (2) consumers’ costs of showrooming as well as webrooming, and (3) the prevalence of costly product return. We show that uniform pricing can be optimal for a monopoly retailer even though consumers have different costs for shopping online versus offline and there is no intrinsic disutility against price discrimination by consumers. In addition, when the uniform price is optimal, it can be lower than both the offline and online prices under optimal dual pricing. This is because, compared with dual pricing, uniform pricing eliminates consumers’ uncertainty about the offline store’s price so that they are more likely to search the nondigital attribute at the offline store and buy the fitted product. Moreover, a relatively higher online price has to be used under dual pricing to encourage consumers to search offline for the purpose of reducing the product return costs.

This paper was accepted by Dmitri Kuksov, marketing.

Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grants 71922008, 71972043, 72025102, and 72091211] and the Sci-Tech Innovation Foundation of School of Management at Fudan University [Grant 20210202].

Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at


  1. Anderson ET, Hansen K, Simester D (2009) The option value of returns: Theory and empirical evidence. Marketing Sci. 28(3):405423.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (6)Digital Library
  2. Anupindi R, Bassok Y (1999) Centralization of stocks: Retailers vs. manufacturer. Management Sci. 45(2):178191.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (8)Cross Ref
  3. Atasu A, Sarvary M, Van Wassenhove LN (2008) Remanufacturing as a marketing strategy. Management Sci. 54(10):17311746.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (10)Cross Ref
  4. Bailay R (2017) Online or offline, Zara to maintain price parity. The Economic Times Online (October 7), ScholarManaging Multirooming (12)
  5. Balakrishnan A, Sundaresan S, Zhang B (2014) Browse-and-switch: Retail-online competition under value uncertainty. Production Oper. Management 23(7):11291145.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (13)Cross Ref
  6. Bandyopadhyay S, Paul AA (2010) Equilibrium returns policies in the presence of supplier competition. Marketing Sci. 29(5):846857.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (15)Digital Library
  7. Bell DR, Gallino S, Moreno A (2018) Offline showrooms in omnichannel retail: Demand and operational benefits. Management Sci. 64(4):16291651.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (17)Digital Library
  8. Bhardwaj P, Chen Y, Godes D (2008) Buyer-initiated vs. seller-initiated information revelation. Management Sci. 54(6):11041114.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (19)Digital Library
  9. Castellanos S (2017) UPS offers IT solution for e-commerce returns. The Wall Street Journal Online (October 26), ScholarManaging Multirooming (21)
  10. Cattani K, Gilland W, Heese HS, Swaminathan J (2006) Boiling frogs: Pricing strategies for a manufacturer adding a direct channel that competes with the traditional channel. Production Oper. Management 15(1):4056.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (22)
  11. Chen Y, Cui TH (2013) The benefit of uniform price for branded variants. Marketing Sci. 32(1):3650.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (23)Digital Library
  12. Chintagunta PK, Chu J, Cebollada J (2012) Quantifying transaction costs in online/offline grocery channel choice. Marketing Sci. 31(1):96114.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (25)Digital Library
  13. Corts KS (1998) Third-degree price discrimination in oligopoly: All-out competition and strategic commitment. RAND J. Econom. 29(2):306323.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (27)Cross Ref
  14. Davis S, Gerstner E, Hagerty M (1995) Money back guarantees in retailing: matching products to consumer tastes. J. Retailing 71(1):722.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (29)Cross Ref
  15. Ferrer G, Swaminathan JM (2006) Managing new and remanufactured products. Management Sci. 52(1):1526.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (31)Digital Library
  16. Gilbride TJ, Allenby GM (2004) A choice model with conjunctive, disjunctive, and compensatory screening rules. Marketing Sci. 23(3):391406.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (33)Digital Library
  17. Guo L, Zhang J (2017) Asymmetric pricing policies in chain store competition. Working paper, Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (35)
  18. Hirschmann R (2021) Shoppers’ reasons for practicing showrooming in Singapore as of May 2019. Statista Online (April 4), ScholarManaging Multirooming (36)
  19. Jing B (2018) Showrooming and webrooming: Information externalities between online and offline sellers. Marketing Sci. 37(3):469483.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (37)Digital Library
  20. Keyes D (2017) Walmart is charging different prices online and in-store. Business Insider Online (November 15), ScholarManaging Multirooming (39)
  21. Konus U, Verhoef PC, Neslin SA (2008) Multichannel shopper segments and their covariates. J. Retailing 84(4):398413.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (40)Cross Ref
  22. Kuksov D, Liao C (2018) When showrooming increases retailer profit. J. Marketing Res. 55(4):459473.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (42)
  23. Lal R, Sarvary M (1999) When and how is the internet likely to decrease price competition? Marketing Sci. 18(4):485503.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (43)Cross Ref
  24. McWilliams B (2012) Money-back guarantees: Helping the low-quality retailer. Management Sci. 58(8):15211524.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (45)Digital Library
  25. Mehra A, Kumar S, Raju JS (2018) Competitive strategies for brick-and-mortar stores to counter “showrooming”. Management Sci. 64(7):30763090.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (47)Digital Library
  26. Nageswaran L, Cho S-H, Scheller-Wolf A (2020) Consumer return policies in omnichannel operations. Management Sci. 66(12):55585575.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (49)Digital Library
  27. Ofek E, Katona Z, Sarvary M (2011) “Bricks and clicks”: The impact of product returns on the strategies of multichannel retailers. Marketing Sci. 30(1):4260.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (51)Digital Library
  28. Padmanabhan V, Png IPL (1997) Manufacturer’s returns policies and retail competition. Marketing Sci. 16(1):8194.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (53)Digital Library
  29. Sevitt D, Samuel A (2013) How Pinterest puts people in stores. Harvard Business Review Online (July 1), ScholarManaging Multirooming (55)
  30. Shulman JD, Coughlan AT, Savaskan RC (2009) Optimal restocking fees and information provision in an integrated demand-supply model of product returns. Manufacturing Service Oper. Management 11(4):577594.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (56)Digital Library
  31. Shulman JD, Coughlan AT, Savaskan RC (2011) Managing consumer returns in a competitive environment. Management Sci. 57(2):347362.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (58)Digital Library
  32. Skrovan S (2017) Why researching online, shopping offline is the new norm. Retail Dive Online (May 17), ScholarManaging Multirooming (60)
  33. Stevens L, Trachtenberg JA (2017) Amazon bookstores offer peek into Whole Foods’ future. The Wall Street Journal Online (October 13), ScholarManaging Multirooming (61)
  34. Su X (2009) Consumer returns policies and supply chain performance. Manufacturing Service Oper. Management 11(4):595612.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (62)Digital Library
  35. Sun M (2011) Disclosing multiple product attributes. J. Econom. Management Strategy 20(1):195224.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (64)Cross Ref
  36. Yang C (2013) Suning shares plunge, posts loss in Q3. Global Times Online (October 31), ScholarManaging Multirooming (66)
  37. Yoo WS, Lee E (2011) Internet channel entry: A strategic analysis of mixed channel structures. Marketing Sci. 30(1):2941.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (67)Digital Library
  38. Zhang JZ, Chang C-W, Neslin SA (2022) How physical stores enhance customer value: The importance of product inspection depth. J. Marketing 86(2):166185.Google ScholarManaging Multirooming (69)
  39. Zimmerman A (2012) Can retailers halt ‘showrooming’. The Wall Street Journal Online (April 11), ScholarManaging Multirooming (70)

Cited By

View all

Managing Multirooming (71)


    • The impact of recommender systems and pricing strategies on brand competition and consumer search


      • We study the effects of recommender systems and pricing strategies on the brand competition and on the consumer search.
      • Brand-preference consumers’ market share affects the strategy choice of store brand.
      • Store brand should adopt ...


      As a type of internet and business intelligence technology, recommender systems have been widely adopted by store brands to improve brand competition and to affect consumers’ search behaviors in the e-commerce market. This paper studies the ...

      Read More

    • Revenue Ranking of Discriminatory and Uniform Auctions with an Unknown Number of Bidders

      An important managerial question is the choice of the pricing rule. We study whether this choice depends on the uncertainty about the number of participating bidders by comparing expected revenues under discriminatory and uniform pricing within an ...

      Read More

    • Technical Note-Optimal Pricing with Sequential Consumption in Networks

      In this paper, we consider a model with a monopoly firm who sells social goods sequentially to a group of customers in a network. We show that, with symmetric social interactions, the optimal pricing under arbitrary launch sequence is independent of ...

      Read More

    Login options

    Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution to get full access on this article.

    Sign in

    Full Access

    Get this Article

    • Information
    • Contributors
    • Published in

      Managing Multirooming (72)

      Management Science Volume 70, Issue 5

      May 2024

      682 pages



      Issue’s Table of Contents

      Copyright © 2023, INFORMS





          Linthicum, MD, United States

          Publication History

          • Published: 3 July 2023
          • Accepted: 17 April 2023
          • Received: 4 September 2020

          Author Tags

          • uniform pricing
          • multichannel
          • multirooming


          • research-article


          Funding Sources

          • Managing Multirooming (73)

            Other Metrics

            View Article Metrics

          • Bibliometrics
          • Citations0
          • Article Metrics

            • Total Citations

              View Citations
            • Total Downloads

            • Downloads (Last 12 months)0
            • Downloads (Last 6 weeks)0

            Other Metrics

            View Author Metrics

          • Cited By

            This publication has not been cited yet

          Digital Edition

          View this article in digital edition.

          View Digital Edition

          • Figures
          • Other

            Close Figure Viewer

            Browse AllReturn


            View Issue’s Table of Contents

            Export Citations

              Managing Multirooming (2024)
              Top Articles
              Latest Posts
              Article information

              Author: Corie Satterfield

              Last Updated:

              Views: 5549

              Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

              Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

              Author information

              Name: Corie Satterfield

              Birthday: 1992-08-19

              Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

              Phone: +26813599986666

              Job: Sales Manager

              Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

              Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.