Steenkamp Award 2020


Peter C. Verhoef, Scott A. Neslin and Björn Vroomen have won the 2020 Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp Award for Long-Term Impact for their 2007 IJRM paper on research-shopping


Author: Cecilia Nalagon


 The European Marketing Academy (EMAC) and the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM) are pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp Award for Long-Term Impact:

Multichannel customer management: Understanding the research-shopper phenomenon (IJRM, Volume 24 (2) 2007, Pages 129-148) by

Peter C. Verhoef (Faculty of Economics, University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Scott A. Neslin (Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA) and Björn Vroomen (Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Netherlands).


This paper develops and estimates a model for understanding the causes of research shopping, and investigates potential strategies for managing it. The research-shopper phenomenon is the tendency of customers to use one channel for search and another for purchase. We hypothesize three fundamental reasons for research shopping: (1) Attribute-based decision-making, (2) Lack of channel lock-in and (3) Cross-channel synergy. Our findings suggest all three mechanisms are at work in making Internet SearchStore Purchase the most popular form of research shopping. We illustrate how our methods could be used to simulate and evaluate various strategies for managing research shopping.

Selection Procedure

The Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp Award for Long-Term Impact is given annually to papers published in IJRM in recognition of their exceptional contributions to academic marketing research by demonstrating long-term impact.

A 4-member Award Committee, formed by the IJRM Editor-in-Chief (PK Kannan) and Co-Editors (Iris W. Hung and Andrew Stephen), managed the nomination and selection procedure. For 2020, the committee was composed of Thomas Otter, chairperson (Goethe University-Frankfurt, Germany), Ming-Hui Huang (National Taiwan University, Taiwan), Carlos Torelli (University of Illinois, USA), and Kapil Tuli (Singapore Management University, Singapore).

The selection procedure for this award is as follows:

  1. All papers published in IJRM 10 to 15 years prior to the year the award is being presented are eligible. Thus, for the 2020 Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp Award all papers published in the years 2005 through 2010 were eligible. (Papers published within this time frame that have already won this award or are (co)authored by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp and/or by the current IJRM Editor-in-Chief were not)
  2. Nominations were invited from EMAC members and IJRM Editorial Board members. This year, the Award Committee received nominations for 61 These nominated papers comprised the first ballot from which the IJRM Editorial Board voted for up to 5 papers; self-voting was not allowed. The 10 papers that received the most votes in the first round made up the ballot for the second and final round of voting in which the Editorial Board could choose only 1 paper.
  3. After receiving the votes, the Award Committee deliberated on the winning paper guided by the following criteria: (1) the votes received from the IJRM Editorial Board, (2) its ISI and Google Scholar citations, and (3) its quality, as assessed by the committee’s in-depth reading. There can be two winners in exceptional cases (not more than once every 3 years on average).

Statement from the Award Committee

Ever since shoppers have had a choice between channels, and increasingly so with the advent of the internet, companies needed to understand how these channels interact in facilitating demand for products and services.  The paper by Verhoef, Neslin, and Vroomen focuses on a particular type of channel interaction: consumers’ use of one channel to search for information and potentially a different channel to purchase.  Verhoef, Neslin, and Vroomen identify channel attributes that facilitate search activities, purchase activities or both.  They then motivate the choice of channel for search and purchase from the perception of these attributes.  In addition, they allow for the overall search attractiveness of a channel to feed into its overall attractiveness for purchase, and vice versa, which they refer to as “channel lock-in”.  Alternatively, a channel’s search attractiveness can feed into the attractiveness of a different channel for purchase, i.e., when consumers appreciate the internet for its search capabilities and the partially unobserved reasons for doing so lead them to strongly prefer brick-and-mortar stores for purchases.  The authors show, for example, that increasing the perception of service and privacy of internet-channels will increase internet purchasing by 10%, at the expense of purchase transactions at brick-and-mortar stores.

While the more recent revolution in supply chains, the dominance of Amazon, and the ubiquity of mobile devices was not anticipated in 2007, the basic behavioral arguments advanced in this paper still seem to be relevant to date.  The research question identified in this paper more than 10 years ago was not only managerially relevant, but also potentially ahead of its time as a number of retailers and manufacturers still seem to struggle in terms of understanding the multichannel behavior of customers.  One could even argue that the relevance of the paper has grown with time as the number of channels available for customers has increased with the emergence of mobile, tablets, and social-commerce as platforms.

This paper received the most votes from the IJRM Editorial Board by a clear margin and was unanimously appreciated by the award committee.  The importance of its contribution is widely recognized as evidenced by more than 300 Web of Science and more than 800 Google Scholar citations.

We congratulate the authors for receiving this award.

The 2020 Award Committee:

Thomas Otter, chairperson (Goethe University-Frankfurt), Ming-Hui Huang (National Taiwan University), Carlos Torelli (University of Illinois), and Kapil Tuli (Singapore Management University)