The Channel Overview of foryouandyourcustomers shows you the diversity of channels. How intentionally do you use them for your company and your customers?

All channels (129)

1
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Annual report

Annual report

The annual report informs investors (channel no. 80) and other stakeholders of the company’s progress and its annual financial statement. It constitutes a specific communication channel in both online and print format. It also serves as a channel for conveying information about the company’s corporate culture and corporate philosophy.
2
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Assortment

Assortment

The assortment represents a company’s products, both on- and offline, according to categorisation and priority. A growing challenge companies face today is how to present a wide range of products so that customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. It’s important to guide customers supported by showrooming (channel no. 109), online searches (channel no. 75), signposting (channel no. 110), sales staff / company employees (channel no. 48), and various other channels.
3
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Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented reality refers to the blending of physical and virtual worlds, for example in which an image taken by a camera is supplemented by an additional layer that provides further information. Augmented reality is still frequently dismissed as merely a technical gimmick today. However, it’s likely to become more important in the future, especially with the prevalence of new devices such as wearables (channel no. 125) and smartphones.
4
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Banner ad (online)

Banner ad (online)

Banner advertisings on (news) portals (channel no. 70), search engines (channel no. 101), and other websites (channel no. 127/128) have become an established channel. They offer advertisers a high degree of transparency in terms of measurability (views, click rates, etc.) However, the increasing prevalence of ad blockers and ad filters among users indicates a limited acceptance of online advertising.
5
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Beacon

Beacon

Beacons are small transmission modules that enable navigation in indoor areas via Bluetooth. Companies use this technology to locate customers (who have given their consent) at the point of sale (POS, channel no. 84) to an accuracy of a few decimetres. This way, personalised ads and offerings (channel no. 13) can be displayed on the customer’s smartphone, and support can be provided when navigating the sales floor (behavioural targeting).
6
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Blog

Blog

A blog is an online diary that individuals or companies use to inform, communicate with, and enter into dialogue with users / readers. Companies often use blogs to communicate knowledge and expertise, and brand ambassadors (channel no. 8) such as experts or prominent figures are also frequent contributors. In public relations (channel no. 63), it’s becoming more and more important to incorporate both (professional) journalists and (private) bloggers.
7
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Book / ebook

Book / ebook

Books are a traditional but highly valuable medium that has been expanded to include a digital variant by means of the eBook. The ways in which companies use this channel include the publication of manuals, company profiles, etc.
8
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Brand ambassador

Brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors are well-known personalities, experts, or trustworthy people that companies use to present their own brand and values to the public. Due to the increased use of social media channels, brand ambassadors have become more visible in recent times.
9
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Business card

Business card

The business card provides its recipient with information on the contact person and the associated company. It continues to be an important channel for making personal contact, even if this is increasingly maintained via online business networks (channel no. 72).
10
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Business partner

Business partner

Business partners are companies and/or people with whom business relationships exist. They contribute to the company’s overall image with the services that they provide. The business partner should be considered a separate channel, as they also often maintain contact with the customers of the partner company.
11
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Cafeteria / restaurant

Cafeteria / restaurant

Companies use restaurants, cafeterias, etc. to try to increase customers’ well-being at the company headquarters (channel no. 59) or at the POS (channel no. 84) and to make the offering come to life on site. The objective is to increase the share of lifetime customer value with the seller.
12
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Calendar

Calendar

Digitisation has turned the calendar into its own separate channel: entries can be shared with customers and this facilitates very reliable coordination of appointments.
13
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Call center

Call center

Alongside the POS (channel no. 84) and the online shop (channel no. 76), the call center is an important channel for many customers – particularly during and after a purchase. Crucial factors for the success of a call cen-ter are that a customer does not have to wait long, is identified and served quickly, and is addressed at a personal level.
14
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Car park

Car park

A company’s parking lot is an independent channel to the customer and gives an outside impression of the company’s headquarters (channel no. 59). How easy it is to find, the size of the parking space, and also the charges to be paid have an influence on the customer’s shopping experi- ence and on the probability of a return visit.
15
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Cash desk

Cash desk

The cash desk is used for processing customer payment processes at the POS (channel no. 84). On the one hand, companies rely on fast and efficient processing with the aid of unmanned self-checkout terminals (channel no. 103) or scanners (channel no. 98); on the other hand, cashiers are also still used to make and maintain personal contact with the customer.
16
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Cinema advertising

Cinema advertising

Cinema advertising is a channel that has become less significant in the era of the Internet. Larger companies are now instead focussing more on opportunities for product placement (channel no. 95) in corresponding film productions.
17
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Cloud application / software

Cloud application / software

Many companies are now making cloud applications or software available to customers and business partners to work with. Successful use, as demonstrated for example by Apple with iTunes or by banks with e-banking solutions (channel no. 44), can produce a high degree of customer loyalty.
18
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Communities (online / offline)

Communities (online / offline)

When a company builds up a community in which the customers exchange information and views with one another, this gives an element of control to the customers. At the same time, however, this can result in a high degree of loyalty to the company and the tasks of the call center (channel no. 13) can increasingly be taken over by customers (customers helping customers).
19
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Comparison portal

Comparison portal

Comparison portals allow con- sumers to compare a product they are looking for with offers from different sellers. They’re also being used more and more to compare services. They therefore make it easier to weigh up Internet offers against one another. As the main criterion on these portals is often the price, the question for companies is whether they want to position themselves in this channel, and how they will do this.
20
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Configurator

Configurator

Products were originally individual products before they became mass-produced goods over the course of time. Nowadays, customers are again increasingly being given the option of purchasing their own individually configured product. For a company, this means making it as easy as possible for the customer to configure their product, for example via the website (channel no. 127/128) or through field staff (channel no. 54).
21
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Consumer information

Consumer information

Consumer information should pro- vide transparency and in-depth knowledge about the features of products and services. On the one hand, sellers must comply with legal requirements. On the other hand, interest groups such as environ- mental associations or consumer protection organisations influence the opinion of customers, for ex- ample by means of seals of approval and labels (channel no. 99).
22
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Contact form

Contact form

By having a contact form on a website (channel no. 127/128), a user can get into contact with the operator of the site. It is a channel that should be very quick and easy to find on company websites. The user should not have to fill out too many man- datory fields but should instead be able to address their concern quickly and easily. Furthermore, a prompt response from the company side is expected nowadays.
23
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Contest

Contest

In marketing, contests or prize draws are used to obtain customers’ contact information. In return, the customer has a chance of winning a prize. For a company, the question of successful lead management arises: if a company holds a competition, it must also know what the data obtained will then be used for.
24
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Contract

Contract

The contract is an important channel, particularly in the services or B2B area. It should be easy to understand and transparent for the customer when it is being concluded. Ideally, a company should make it possible for the customer to be able to easily view personal contracts and change them, e.g. via a self-service portal (channel no. 102).
25
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

By means of corporate social responsibility (CSR), companies show their customers that they are taking on responsibility in social and environmental areas and what this entails. In order to convey the desired message, CSR extends to numerous channels such as the annual report (channel no. 1) or the company website (channel no. 127/128).
26
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Corporate vehicle

Corporate vehicle

Corporate vehicles function as advertising. Companies use this channel to transport their own brand and/or a message. This should ideally prompt the customer to contact the company via another channel.
27
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Correspondence

Correspondence

Written correspondence refers to personal letters, invoices, advertising letters, invitations, and other forms of correspondence that are sent off- line. This form of correspondence is a well-known channel that is increasingly being replaced by digital documents (channel no. 38) and e-mail (channel no. 45).
27
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Counter

Counter

The counter is an important channel (particularly for retailers) via which a company can demonstrate its competence in offering fresh produce or its customer friendliness, for example. Nowadays, there are various approaches for extending the process at the counter by means of digital tools. However, their acceptance by customers cannot yet be definitively assessed.
29
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Credit card

Credit card

Nowadays, the credit card is increasingly replacing cash as a means of payment. For companies, being the issuer of a credit card can be an attractive prospect. From a communication perspective, the monthly statement alone constitutes a regular touch point with the customer. Current developments in the field of mobile payment are indicating that the existing physical plastic card will increasingly be replaced by digital alternatives such as payment via smartphone.
30
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Customer

Customer

The customer is perhaps the most important channel of them all. If they are satisfied with a seller, they essentially create a channel to further customers by word of mouth (channel no. 78/129) and can consciously or unconsciously act as an advertising vehicle or as a brand ambassador (channel no. 8) for a company.
31
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Customer gift

Customer gift

Customer gifts are small token items that are distributed to the customers of a company. Their purpose is to increase customer loyalty and they should promote brand awareness. Gifts for certain occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or public holidays are common.
32
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Customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty program

A customer loyalty program is intend- ed to create incentives for repeat business dealings with the company. It is often combined with a customer card or a credit card (channel no. 29). The channel allows the customer to be identified and can thus be used for analysing the customer’s buying behaviour and for personalised advertising (e.g. direct mailing, channel no. 41).
33
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Customer magazine

Customer magazine

The customer magazine is an independent channel to immerse customers in the brand world. While some brands use the printed customer magazine (e.g. Nestlé Nespresso, MINI, etc.) to position their products as high quality, other companies rely on the medium of the digital magazine.
34
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Customer rating

Customer rating

Customers create a rating and/or comment on a product or service that they have used. The importance of this feedback and these ratings has increased greatly due to the Internet: particularly in the case of online shops (channel no. 76) and compari- son portals (channel no. 19), they represent an opinion-forming element for other potential customers.
35
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Customer reports

Customer reports

Customer reports are overviews of purchased products and services that are sent regularly. They are often linked with customer loyalty programs (channel no. 32) to show bonus points, for example. An additional field of application is the finance sector where customers are regularly provided with information about the performance of their investments or their financial status. Reports such as these can also increasingly be generated independently by the customer via self-service portals (channel no. 102).
36
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Delivery

Delivery

At delivery, the product is handed over to the customer. For online and mail order retailers, this channel is often the sole physical touch point with the customer and therefore should not be underestimated. The packaging (channel no. 93) and the unboxing experience (channel no. 121) influence the customer’s satisfaction even before they see the actual product.
37
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Department store

Department store

A department store is a large retail store in which goods of all kinds are offered for sale and are available to be ordered. Department stores are increasingly positioning themselves as worlds in which the brand can be experienced and where customers will gladly linger for long periods of time. Particularly for brands, the question arises as to how they want to stage themselves there, for example in the form of promotions (channel no. 13) or via store in store concepts (channel no. 114).
38
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Digital document

Digital document

More and more digital documents are being made available to cus-tomers by e-mail (channel no. 45) or via the company website (channel no. 127/128). Self-service portals are also being increasingly used (channel no. 102). The greater rate of mobile retrieval of these documents presents companies with the challenge of presenting the information in such a way that it is user-friendly and easy to read also on smaller screens.
39
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Digital signage

Digital signage

The term “digital signage” designates screens that present advertising and information in electronic format at the POS (channel no. 84) and in public places. It ranges from pure text and (animated) images through to video messages. The use of this channel is growing due to falling display costs but it has not yet been able to really establish itself when compared to traditional advertising.
40
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Digital worlds / avatars

Digital worlds / avatars

The cash desk is used for processing customer payment processes at the POS (channel no. 84). On the one hand, companies rely on fast and efficient processing with the aid of unmanned self-checkout terminals (channel no. 103) or scanners (channel no. 98); on the other hand, cashiers are also still used to make and maintain personal contact with the customer.
41
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Direct mailing

Direct mailing

Direct mailing is used by companies to send addressed advertising by letter, which is often accompanied by a flyer (channel no. 56). Ideally, both the letter and content of the mailing will be personalised. The digital counterpart is the e-mail newsletter (channel no. 47).
42
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Display window

Display window

The display window should be a point of attraction for customers and prompt them to enter the shop. Nowadays, companies also combine this channel with electronic elements such as digital signage (channel no. 39).
43
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Downloads

Downloads

Companies use downloads to make files available online that users can save onto various end devices. This channel is linked with the digital document (channel no. 38), but also with the self-service portal (channel no. 102).
44
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E-Banking / e-invoicing

E-Banking / e-invoicing

E-banking is a platform on which customers can process their banking transactions themselves. A high level of security is crucial. Companies are increasingly making use of e-invoices so that customers can receive and pay electronic invoices directly via their e-banking.
45
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Email

Email

E-Mail is a very successful and personalised individual channel that is widely used. In combination with the e-mail newsletter (channel no. 47), e-mail must be used carefully, as the customer can simply block the sender or classify the e-mail as spam.
46
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Email footer

Email footer

Companies who communicate by e-mail must give some thought to an e-mail footer. This signature represents the brand and benefits customers by making them aware of other touch points, for example.
47
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Email newsletter

Email newsletter

The e-mail newsletter is presumed to be the most cost-effective means of mass communication with customers and provides information about company news items. Data protection legislation must be complied with here: the customer must consent to receiving the newsletter from the company. When that has been secured, the company should ensure that the customer receives personalised information that is of real interest to them.
48
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Employee

Employee

The employee represents the company vis-a-vis the customer. Employers should motivate their employees to provide the customer with a positive experience. A company can influence this channel through successful recruitment and training of its employees, among other methods.
49
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Events

Events

Events can cater to many different customer groups of a company. Both B2C and B2B companies like to hold events so as to get closer to customers and promote sales activities.
50
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Exhibition

Exhibition

The participation of a company as an exhibitor at a trade fair or at a conference allows companies to make personal contact with potential and existing customers. In the B2B area in particular, exhibitions are a popular channel. They are, however, rather expensive when compared against the contact opportunities that arise there.
51
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Extranet

Extranet

Via the extranet, companies give their customers online access to a protected area. Customers find personalised or specific information there and can exchange data and content with the company.
52
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Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is currently the largest social network worldwide in which users contact each other via a personal profile and can share information publicly. Companies also use this platform for advertising purposes and to enter into dialogue with users.
53
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Fax

Fax

The fax as a channel for written communication has become less significant. It is primarily still of relevance for orders in the B2B area. Apart from that, the fax has been replaced by new online channels such as e-mail (channel no. 45) or the extranet (channel no. 51)
54
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Field staff / sales talk

Field staff / sales talk

Field staff and the sales team visit potential or existing customers to keep in touch, conduct consult- ation meetings, and promote sales. Despite new digital possibilities, this channel is still extremely important (particularly in the B2B area).
55
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Flagship store

Flagship store

Flagship stores in both the B2C and B2B areas are worlds in which the brand can be experienced, while differentiating itself from its competi- tors. These may be particularly noticeable POS (channel no. 84), stores in stores (channel no. 114), adventure parks, but also exhibitions (channel no. 50), museums, and events (channel no. 49).
56
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Flyer

Flyer

Flyers are printed documents about companies, products, references, promotions, etc. that are especially used in connection with direct mailings (channel no. 41) and are sent by post or distributed in the street.
57
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Games

Games

Companies use computer, mobile, or online games to imprint their brand or service on the minds of users in a playful way. Nowadays, individual gaming elements are also used in various business applications and web portals to increase motivation in the context of gamification.
58
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Goods packaging

Goods packaging

Besides their primary function of protecting and transporting goods, packaging or shopping bags can be used as a means of advertising and communicating. Companies are now using packaging to direct customers to other channels by providing targeted information.
59
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Headquarters

Headquarters

The company headquarters is a building that can be distinctly and visibly attributed to the respective company due to the corresponding corporate design. This channel serves to represent the company and establish its identity from the perspective of employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
60
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Internet telephony

Internet telephony

Internet telephony via Skype and other services is being used by more and more people, also to contact companies (online dialogue, channel no. 73). Young people in particular prefer Internet telephony to the traditional telephone (channel no. 117), not least because it is mostly free.
61
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Link / QR code

Link / QR code

Links are used to access websites and other files. By using QR codes, users can access links via their smartphones without having to make any manual entries.
62
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Manager / decision maker

Manager / decision maker

Managers and decision makers represent the company vis-a-vis customers, suppliers, and the public. They are contact persons and figureheads for the company and are increasingly making appearances before the media (channel no. 63) and shareholders (channel no. 80).
63
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Media relations

Media relations

Media relations work comprises contacting, interacting with, and maintaining relationships with journalists and the media, as well as the pos- itioning of brands and products in the media landscape. This activity has changed dramatically due to news platforms (channel no. 70) and the emergence of social networks (e.g. Facebook, channel no. 52) and blogs (channel no. 6).
64
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Merchandising

Merchandising

Merchandising products are promotional items that companies give or sell to customers and interested parties for advertising purposes. They shape the brand image and are intended to make the brand memorable.
65
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Microsite

Microsite

A microsite is a website that exists independently of the actual company website (channel no. 127/128) and deals with a specific topic. It is often used for promotions or within the framework of campaigns.
66
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Mobile app

Mobile app

Mobile apps are small programs that are used on mobile devices. For companies, they have become a very important channel to the customer due to the more widespread use of smartphones and tablets. However, due to the large number of apps available, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to grab the attention of users.
67
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Mobile sales vehicle

Mobile sales vehicle

The mobile sales vehicle in its original form is a channel that is seldom used today. However, this channel is currently making a reappearance in a modified form, for example as a pop-up store (channel no. 85) for special promotions or events (channel no. 49) of a company.
68
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Navigation

Navigation

Navigation systems in cars or as mobile apps (channel no. 66) are in widespread use. For companies, it is important that their location is stored correctly in these systems and that the company can be found easily. This channel is the digital version of signposting (channel no. 110).
69
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Newspaper

Newspaper

Newspapers are traditional press media that are financed by subscribers and advertising customers. Companies can present themselves to customers via this channel in the form of advertisements or PR measures such as press releases, company portraits, etc. The significance of newspapers has decreased greatly with the emergence of news platforms (channel no. 70).
70
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News platform

News platform

The news platform is the digital equivalent of the newspaper (channel no. 69) and has outstripped the latter over the past few years. It provides companies with numerous advertising options, the success of which can be measured more easily compared to newspapers.
71
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Offer

Offer

The offer can be provided to customers upon request in the form of a quotation. In addition, companies use campaigns and promotions, which they communicate via various channels, as a measure to promote sales.
72
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Online business network

Online business network

Online business networks are used to maintain existing business contacts or to forge new ones. For many people, these platforms are increas- ingly replacing the business card (channel no. 9). This channel is rele-vant for staff recruitment as well as for communicating the corporate culture and capability of a company to the outside world.
73
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Online dialogue

Online dialogue

Online dialogue is used as a means of communication in the form of chats or discussion forums via text, video, speech, etc. This chan-nel is used on websites (channel no. 127/128) as a means of getting in contact with visitors and equates to a personal consultation, which then often takes place via Internet telephony (channel no. 60). It is also being used more and more internally within companies for information exchange between employees.
74
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Online marketplace

Online marketplace

Online marketplaces enable companies to sell products and services to a large number of users. Smaller companies can also reach a large target group via platforms such as Amazon or eBay.
75
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Online search (on own website)

Online search (on own website)

The online search function on a website (channel no. 127/128) or in an online shop (channel no. 76) is designed to ensure that the person doing the search gets immediate access to the required information. Customers nowadays expect fast and helpful results, like they are used to getting from search engines (channel no. 101).
76
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Online shop

Online shop

As a sales channel, the online shop is the web-based version of the POS (channel no. 84). It should act as a type of flagship store (channel no. 55) for a company on the Internet and provide a simple, secure and satisfying shopping experience.
77
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Online video

Online video

Online videos are used by companies for the purposes of entertainment, providing information, marketing, and advertising. The importance of this channel for companies has increased in line with the high usage of video portals (channel no. 122) such as YouTube and is therefore also increasingly used on company websites (channel no. 127/128).
78
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Online word of mouth

Online word of mouth

Online word of mouth is the digital variant of word-of-mouth advertising (word of mouth, channel no. 129). Platforms for these digital recommendations include, in particular, social networks such as Facebook (channel no. 52) and Twitter (channel no. 120), but also online business networks (channel no. 72) and blogs (channel no. 6).
79
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Outdoor advertising

Outdoor advertising

Outdoor advertising is advertising in public spaces, particularly in the form of posters. These are getting bigger in format and, with the advent of digital signage (channel no. 39), now come in a digital version, however this has not yet established itself compared to the printed poster.
80
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Owner / shareholder

Owner / shareholder

Owners and shareholders of com- panies sometimes make an appearance in public and communicate the brand and the benefits of the company to the outside world. Such strong personalities play an import- ant role, particularly in family-run companies.
81
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Partner store

Partner store

Besides making sales via their own POS (channel no. 84), companies also use partner stores, for example in the form of franchise companies or individual retailers. Store in store concepts (channel no. 114) are also often managed on a partnership basis.
82
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Photo community

Photo community

Photo communities allow users to share digital photos with one another. The importance of this has also increased for companies due to portals such as Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, etc. They use this channel for media relations work (channel no. 63) and for marketing and advertising purposes, often in the hope of achieving a viral effect. These platforms are also gaining in importance as they grant an informal look behind the scenes of a company.
83
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Pick-up points

Pick-up points

Pick-up points are stationary col- lection points at which customers can pick up the goods they have ordered in the online shop (channel no. 76). This process, some- times also referred to as “Click and Collect”, offers customers an alternative to having goods delivered.
84
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Point of sale

Point of sale

Points of sale (POS) are stationary sales areas of companies that allow goods to be presented for sale or to be ordered, including final payment (channel no. 15). In recent times, POS are being transformed more and more into showrooms (channel no. 109) and are also used as pick-up points (channel no. 83).
85
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Pop-up store

Pop-up store

The pop-up store is a short-term sales space that uses business premises that are temporarily vacant, for example. This channel therefore represents a modern and inexpensive variant of the POS (channel no. 84). The fact that it is only available for a limited time makes it seem like an event (channel no. 49).
86
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Presentation

Presentation

Companies use presentations in front of an audience to provide information to customers, employees, and other stakeholder groups and to convince them of their products and services. The digital counterpart is the webinar (channel no. 126), which is growing in popularity in the B2B area.
87
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Price tag

Price tag

The pricetag displays the purchase price on the product and/or on the shelf. It often contains additional information or contains the barcode for scanning (channel no. 98) at the cash desk. Electronic shelf labels (ESL) are a more recent development and are controlled centrally.
88
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Product

Product

The actual product itself is also a channel – and a very important one at that: Will the customer be satisfied? Does the product provide the customer with additional information, e.g. regarding quality, better use, or optimal service? Will the customer recommend the product to others (channel no. 78/129)?
89
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Product catalogue

Product catalogue

A company’s products along with additional information are depicted in the product catalogue. It is the counterpart of the online shop (channel no. 76), which represents a digital product catalogue. Many orders still stem from product catalogues.
90
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Product documentation

Product documentation

A company’s products along with additional information are depicted in the product catalogue. It is the counterpart of the online shop (channel no. 76), which represents a digital product catalogue. Many orders still stem from product catalogues.
91
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Product experience

Product experience

The product experience is the way in which the customer experiences the product. For example, companies can influence the customer’s purchasing decision when buying a car by providing a test drive. This channel differs from the actual product (channel no. 88) and the unboxing experience (channel no. 121).
92
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Product label

Product label

The product label is an information sign on the product itself or on the packaging. It may include similar information to the pricetag, but it often also includes instructions for use (product documentation, channel no. 90) or brand messages.
93
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Product packaging

Product packaging

The product packaging is the actual wrapping of the goods. This channel has an information and marketing function, and many customers buy products based on this touch point (without having seen the actual product). The packaging creates an unboxing experience (channel no. 121) and therefore constitutes the first part of the product experience (channel no. 91).
94
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Product partnership

Product partnership

A product partnership is a collabor- ation between two complementary companies with the aim of offering the customer added value. A current trend is the linking and interaction of existing products with digital devices, such as smartphones and tablets, which extends the benefits of the product. An example from the field of sport is the collaboration between Nike and Apple to form Nike+.
95
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Product placement

Product placement

Product placement involves the presentation of goods at the POS (channel no. 84) as well as in various media, especially TV, film (channels no. 16/45), and games (channel no. 57). Companies invest heavily to ensure the optimal presentation of their products.
96
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Radio

Radio

Companies can use radio as a channel in a number of different ways. Press releases (channel no. 63) can be addressed as part of different radio formats, for example, while companies can also pay for advertisements. The impact of radio was originally limited in terms of region, but the Internet has changed this.
97
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Receipt

Receipt

The receipt is the written proof of a paid purchase. It is often checked and retained by customers and offers companies the chance to communicate with customers or to encourage them to interact, for example by providing a rating. Digital receipts, which are delivered to the customer via e-mail (channel no. 45) upon purchase, are becoming increasingly popular.
98
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Scanner

Scanner

Barcodes can be read and processed using a scanner. In the B2B field, sellers provide their customers with scanners to optimise processes and to foster customer loyalty. In the meantime, “scan and go” scanners have been introduced in the B2C field. With these scanners, the checkout process is outsourced to the customer, in the form of hand scanners or mobile apps (channel no. 66), and the cash desk (channel no. 15) is replaced.
99
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Seal of quality

Seal of quality

Seals of quality are product labels that make a statement about the quality of a product. Examples are organic, fair trade, consumer protection labels, etc. As they are awarded by neutral organisations, they create a sense of trust with the customer and they also play a role in terms of consumer information (channel no. 20).
100
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Search engine advertisement (SEA)

Search engine advertisement (SEA)

Search engine advertisement is a form of paid advertising in search engines where ads are displayed alongside the normal results when specific keywords are searched. To gain a higher position in the unpaid search results, companies rely on search engine optimisation (SEO, channel no. 101).
101
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Search engines (SEO)

Search engines (SEO)

Search engines are a channel for finding content on the Internet. It is therefore important that a company’s products and services, or website, can be found quickly and easily on search engines. Positioning can be optimised using various measures, which are referred to as search engine optimisation (SEO). Companies are willing to invest heavily in such measures.
102
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Self-service portal

Self-service portal

By using self-service portals, a company’s customers can utilise its services independently, at any time. This channel is a form of digital customer service (channel no. 104) and constitutes a personalised version of a website (channel no. 127/128) or mobile app (channel no. 66). The functions of these portals range from viewing previous orders to triggering certain processes.
103
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Self-service terminal

Self-service terminal

Self-service terminals enable users to utilise a company’s services independently. They are widely used in the banking (ATMs) and transport (ticket machines) industries. In recent years, the retail payment process has been outsourced more and more to customers using these terminals, in some cases scanners (channel no. 98).
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Service desk

Service desk

A service desk offers customers a point of contact for all service requests. It can be provided at a counter at the POS (channel no. 84), handled by a call center (channel no. 13), or offered via the company’s website (channel no. 127/128).
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Sharing content / tell a friend

Sharing content / tell a friend

Sharing content is a form of online word of mouth (channel no. 78) and can be carried out via various channels such as social media plat- forms (channel no. 52/72/120), e-mail (channel no. 45), etc. This behaviour can be promoted by companies by rewarding customers for sharing content.
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Shopping cart

Shopping cart

The shopping cart was first invented in 1932 to allow customers to transport goods that they have selected within a POS (channel no. 84). It can also be used as an advertising medium. Digital components, such as indoor navigation systems (channel no. 68) and scanners (channel no. 98), are increasingly being added to shopping trolleys.
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Shoppingcenter

Shoppingcenter

The shopping center is a POS (channel no. 84) that appeals to customers because it brings together a number of shops, service providers, and entertainment venues all in one place.
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Short / instant messages

Short / instant messages

Short and instant messages are personal text messages sent via mobile phone or computer. These include SMS (Short Message Service), instant messengers like ICQ, as well as newer versions such as WhatsApp. Companies are increasingly using these channels as a means of digital communication (online dialogue, channel no. 73).
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Showroom

Showroom

In a showroom, a customer can experience a company’s products without being able to purchase and take them away on the spot. While this concept has been used for a long time, for example by car dealerships, online and mail order companies are now also using this channel. Customers should be given the opportunity to try out products before purchasing (product experience, channel no. 91).,
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Signposting

Signposting

Signposting is used to assist people with spatial orientation in a building, a particular area, or a public space. This channel is used in many ways by companies, from the signs at the company headquarters (channel no. 59) to car park signage (channel no. 14) and signs pointing the way to different departments at the POS (channel no. 84).
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Slides

Slides

Slides are used for the visualisation of presentations (channel no. 86) and lectures. There are now special platforms on the Internet like SlideShare, where companies can publish their presentation slides, expanding their target audience.
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Sound

Sound

Sound is used by companies to create a uniform, acoustic brand identity. For B2C companies, the use of jingles as well as PA systems at the POS (channel no. 84) are particularly relevant.
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Sponsoring

Sponsoring

Sponsoring refers to the provision of financial support by companies to events (channel no. 48), groups of people, and organisations. In return, advertising space featuring the sponsor’s brand is provided.
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Store in store

Store in store

A store in store is a sales space that is rented within another sales area. Within the premises, areas are created that individual sellers can control, which enhances the customer’s experience of the rele-vant brands.
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Streaming

Streaming

Streaming (as opposed to downloading, channel no. 43) refers to the simultaneous transmission and playback of video and audio files on the Internet. Streaming provides digital communication and advertising opportunities for companies in the form of web radio and web TV.
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Survey

Survey

The survey is a method of obtaining systematic information on individuals’ attitudes, opinions, behaviour, and knowledge. Companies use this channel to understand and influence target groups and their relationship to brands and products.
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Telephone

Telephone

Even in the age of the Internet, the telephone continues to play an important role for companies and is used by customers to obtain information and order products. Due to the prevalence of mobile phones and Internet telephony (channel no. 60), customers increasingly expect companies to be available at all times.
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Training

Training

Training courses are offered by companies, particularly for products that require in-depth consultation and for new applications. In addition to traditional group training there are various other options, such as individual training sessions, e-learning, and webinars (channel no. 126).
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TV advertising

TV advertising

TV-advertising includes every type of advertisement broadcast on television. With the increased availability of time-shifting TV and video portals (channel no. 122), drawing con- sumers’ attention to TV-advertisements is becoming more and more of a challenge.
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Twitter

Twitter

Twitter is a social network used for the distribution of short messages. The limited length of tweets make this an attractive platform for many individuals, organisations, com-panies, and the mass media. At the same time, Facebook (channel no. 52) is a much more commonly used channel.
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Unboxing

Unboxing

Unboxing refers to the moment in which a customer unpacks the purchased product from the packaging (channel no. 93). This moment is increasingly being designed by companies as an experience that arouses anticipation of the product and, at the same time, gives the customer a positive impression of the brand and product.
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Video portal

Video portal

A video portal is a website where videos are made available on the Internet (channel no. 77) to view, rate, and in some cases, to download (channel no. 43). Free sites like YouTube and Vimeo are especially popular and offer companies another communication and advertising channel.
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Voucher

Voucher

Vouchers and coupons serve as a sales promotion tool and they can be used by customers to obtain a product at a lower price, or for free. Companies use this channel to increase customer loyalty (often in conjunction with a customer loyalty program, channel no. 32) or to induce customers to cross-sell or up-sell.
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Waiting and recreation area / business lounge

Waiting and recreation area / business lounge

Waiting- or recreation-areas are not only found in doctors’ offices, train stations or airports – they also exist in the entrance areas of company buildings (channel no. 59) and as recreation areas at POS (channel no. 84). For companies, this channel is important in terms of representing the company and establishing its identity, and often promotes its products and services.
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Wearable device

Wearable device

Wearable devices are computer technologies that users wear on their bodies. Examples include smart watches, smart glasses, hearing aids, smart bracelets, and clothing with additional functions. Wearables are still largely in the development process and, so far, have not yet established themselves on the market. However, they are likely to become more important within the next few years.
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Webinar

Webinar

A webinar is a training course offered via the Internet (channel no. 118) that includes presentations and interaction opportunities. The range of applications includes e-learning, press conferences (channel no. 63), and product presentations (channel no. 86).
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Website optimised for desktops

Website optimised for desktops

A website optimised for desktops is a website that is designed for stationary devices such as desktop PCs or laptops. It can only be used to a limited extent on smaller screens, such as smartphones or tablets. Companies are now frequently using mobile-optimised websites (channel no. 128).
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Website optimised for smartphones and tablets

Website optimised for smartphones and tablets

A website optimised for smartphones and tablets is a website that has been specially adapted for use with devices that have smaller screen sizes. Today, companies are relying more and more on responsive design. This automatically adapts the design of a website to the size of the relevant device screen.
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Word of mouth

Word of mouth

Word of mouth refers to the informal expression of opinion among consumers concerning brands, products, and companies. These recommendations have a large influence (both positive and negative) on the decision to purchase, especially within a social environment (family, friends, etc.). Online word of mouth (channel no. 78) has become increasingly important as a result of social networks.