The Diffusion of E-commerce at the Firm Level: Theoretical Implications and Empirical Evidence
As a specific institution of distributive trades, e-commerce displays similarities with retail stores and mail order companies. As well as providing theoretical support for the assumption that e-commerce is a way to sell certain goods and services at prices potentially lower than those of traditional distributive channels, this paper analyses its inter-firm diffusion among a sample of firms (mostly SMEs) in Italy. The paper has three main purposes. Firstly, it challenges the view of e-commerce as a “technological revolution”, by pointing out its nature as a cost minimizing marketing channel. In particular, it shows how, under certain circumstances, e-commerce is a source of transaction cost advantages analogous to those yielded by mail order business. Secondly, the paper identifies the circumstances under which e-commerce sales might achieve a significant level of penetration among those SMEs that would otherwise incur high costs in organizing a proprietary distributive channel. Thirdly, the paper employs a unique data set of Italian manufacturing, service, and hospitality firms (nearly 90% of them with fewer than 100 employees) to estimate a diffusion model based on the logistic curve. According to the estimates, by the fourth quarter of 2003 nearly 50% of the population of firms in the geographical area surveyed will have introduced e-commerce among their marketing channels.
|Date of creation:||2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Piazza Scaravilli, 2, and Strada Maggiore, 45, 40125 Bologna|
Phone: +39 051 209 8019 and 2600
Fax: +39 051 209 8040 and 2664
Web page: http://www.dse.unibo.it
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Klein, Lisa R., 1998. "Evaluating the Potential of Interactive Media through a New Lens: Search versus Experience Goods," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 195-203, March.
- Garicano, Luis & Kaplan, Steven N, 2001.
"The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs,"
Journal of Industrial Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 463-85, December.
- Luis Garicano & Steven N. Kaplan, 2001. "The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 463-485 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luis Garicano & Steven N. Kaplan, 2000. "The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs," NBER Working Papers 8017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael, Steven C., 1994. "Competition in organizational form : Mail order versus retail stores, 1910-1940," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 269-286, May.
- Audretsch, David B & Thurik, A Roy, 2001. "What's New about the New Economy?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 267-315, March.
- Jonathan Coppel, 2000. "E-Commerce: Impacts and Policy Challenges," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 252, OECD Publishing.
- Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:428. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.