Antecedents of Channel Choice in Business-To-Business Professional Services:Focus on the Insurance Sector
Tamer Asaad, D.B.A.

An increasing number of companies in the professional service sector are using two or more distribution channels to market their products, multichannel strategy that has become a dominant channel design. However, research on channel choices in professional services remains limited. Thus, this study aims to examine antecedents of channel choice in services with focus on Saudi Arabia’s insurance sector. The study adopts a quantitative research method and value-based framework to analyze the survey responses of 84 representatives of corporate customers on channel choice decisions when purchasing insurance. In addition, it examines the impact of three key explanatory variables—product class knowledge, perceived transaction risk, and task complexity—in relation to perceived broker channel value, and the affect of channel value on channel choice. The findings evidence that product class knowledge and perceived transaction risk influence perceived broker channel value, and that increased broker channel value leads to greater intentions of broker channel usage. This reiterates the importance of understanding factors influencing consumers in their choice of channels. Further, insurance brokers, particularly those in developing insurance markets, should go beyond the traditional “supplier” role, involving quotations soliciting and pricing negotiations, and focus on value creation. Finally, insurance companies must acknowledge that insurance brokers play a crucial role in developing the client–insurer relationship.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jmm.v4n2a3