Centre for Economic Transformation| CET

Selling online and cross-border shopping

Bridging the distances and differences between Europe, the US and China

14 Jun 2023 20:24 | Centre for Economic Transformation

The doctoral research of Sjoukje Goldman - By understanding the marketing strategies of small eretailers, building trust between consumers and foreign e-shops and analysing buying behaviour across generations, companies and consumers can better respond to the challenges and opportunities of the international online market.

These are the findings of Sjoukje Goldman's doctoral research on the drivers of retailers' business performance and consumers' buying intentions in cross-border e-commerce. The research sheds new light on the world of cross-border e-commerce and offers valuable insights for both retailers and consumers. Sjoukje Goldman: "Although the Internet makes it easy to buy and sell products across borders, the differences between countries are a huge challenge especially for smaller retailers in cross-border e-commerce."

S. Goldman

The research specifically focuses on online selling and shopping across borders between Europe, the United States and China. The findings offer insights into how small e-retailers can optimise their marketing strategies, how trust is built between consumers and foreign e-shops, and how different generations of consumers behave in cross-border e-commerce. The research is composed of three sub-studies.

The first sub-study focuses on small e-retailers of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and how they can adapt their marketing strategies to improve their performance in foreign markets. The research shows that a strong orientation towards foreign markets benefits the marketing strategy of SME e-retailers. There is in this a difference between small e-retailers from developed and emerging e-commerce markets according to Goldman: "E-retailers from developed markets benefit from a growth-oriented approach, while e-retailers from emerging markets should avoid focusing too much on being service-oriented. However, it is especially important to have knowledge of foreign markets in order to be successful there."

The second sub-study examines how shop value and country stereotype perceptions influence the trust between consumers and foreign e-retailers. The results show that consumers have more trust in foreign e-stores that offer the specific product they are looking for and where the shopping experience is perceived as enjoyable. This trust is enhanced when consumers have positive stereotypical perceptions of the country where the foreign e-stores are located.

The third sub-study investigates why consumers buy from foreign e-stores when they can buy domestically. The research identifies three different categories of determinants that influence this behaviour: e-store characteristics, domain-specific values and human values. The study shows for example that an e-store's product offering, perception of risk, service expectations and the ethnocentrism of consumers influence consumers’ purchasing behaviour at foreign e-stores.

Sjoukje Goldman is a senior researcher and lecturer in Sustainable Marketing at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). Her research has led to valuable insights into cross-border ecommerce which have been disclosed in various publications and presentations.

Date and location of Goldman’s PhD dissertation defence

Goldman’s defence of her doctoral research dissertation Business performance and purchase intentions in cross-border e-commerce: Insights from retailer and consumer perspectives will take place on Thursday 22 June at 13:45 in the auditorium of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Boelelaan).

Her defence can be viewed live on the VU's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/VUBeadlesOffice