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2022 | Book

Achieving Business Competitiveness in a Digital Environment

Opportunities in E-commerce and Online Marketing


About this book

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very strong reminder that the future economic development of any country is more than ever influenced by its ability to ramp-up digital competitiveness. Consequently, enterprises were pushed to assess and develop the possibilities offered by e-commerce and online marketing tools. In this book, experts outline the prerequisites for such online marketing competitiveness and compare the current level of digital marketing competitiveness in Europe by using publicly available macro and micro-level data. The authors present their analyses and recommendations including interviews with over 125 online marketers and e-commerce specialists and present the lessons from digitalization of over 600 SMEs.

Table of Contents

The Broad and Narrow Definition of E-Commerce
Electronic commerce is neither a new phenomenon nor a phenomenon that is easy to define and even less easy to assess. First of all, we are faced with the diversity of definitions and, hence, of measures. The broadest definitions encompass activities related to the network infrastructure, both hardware, and software, which underpin the functioning of the Internet: routers, servers, network administration software, and software platforms. Another broad definition of electronic commerce includes all electronic transactions, including credit card transactions and the infrastructure necessary for electronic commerce operation. Finally, a more restrictive definition is limited to the purchases and sales of goods and services made over the Internet, whether paid for or not, delivered or not delivered online. These different definitions make it difficult to monitor the development of business activities on the Internet and identify the factors necessary for achieving higher competitiveness in this sector. This introductory chapter focuses on reviewing existing definitions of digital entrepreneurship in the scientific literature and international documents. By identifying reoccurring characteristics, we propose a set of factors that can increase a company’s competitiveness in the online environment if proper measures are put in place.
Tereza Semerádová, Petr Weinlich
Evaluative Framework for Digital Competitiveness
To stand out and face the growing demand from customers to obtain products and services online, several SMEs are implementing digital transformation strategies. It became evident that many factors other than technology are required to ensure the digital transformation’s completion and success. However, the global pandemic of Covid-19 showed that many SMEs struggle significantly to implement Internet and online platforms into their strategies to achieve a decent level of e-commerce competitiveness. In this chapter, we combine secondary information, opinions of experts in online marketing, and the experience of SMEs to identify which factors affect the capacity of businesses to embrace the digital environment. Based on these findings, we propose an evaluative framework allowing business to assess their current level of e-commerce readiness.
Tereza Semerádová, Petr Weinlich, Pavla Švermová
Website-Centric Shopping Experience
The current marketing strategies revolve around a new form of marketing that is more human, less commercial, giving more importance to the customer by considering him above all as a partner and, more generally, interested in society. While the number of enterprises adopting these changes is increasing, we observe that e-commerce remains mainly based on a model far removed from the characteristics of this new marketing. In this chapter, we are therefore interested in evaluating the relevance of a merchant website to evolve its model towards the values of marketing 3.0. Based on the theories presented, we propose a conceptual framework for linking virtual commercial hospitality and purchasing behavior. We introduce five concepts: affective reactions, cognitive absorption, exploratory behaviors, approach-avoidance behaviors, and intention to buy. The research described in this chapter uses data from 498 respondents.
Ladislava Míková, Lenka Suková
Socially Responsible Online Marketing
Consumers make their purchasing decisions based on information that is also related to emotions. Customers prefer transparent information that allows them to trust companies and then show interest in their services or products. Corporate social responsibility is one of the critical factors influencing the image. Because the concept of CSR significantly affects the perception of the company among customers and society. Strengthening the image is one of the fundamental goals of marketing. The CSR concept is thus one of the possible aspects of strengthening the image and thus having the edge over the competition. This chapter examines the relationships between CSR communication, brand reputation, and customer shopping intentions.
Pavla Švermová
Algorithms: The New Leaders of the Advertising Market
Digital advertising evolves in an increasingly dynamic context and therefore finds itself in perpetual change. Advertising success increasingly relies on targeting and personalization capabilities that require strong skills in collecting and processing user information and data. However, these practices carry risks for Internet users since personal and potentially sensitive data on their lives can be exchanged without actual knowledge or consent on their part. While the targeting and the precision with which the advertising algorithms deliver content, users’ interest in the marketing content decreases. Thus the main question is, what are the causes of this lesser effectiveness of online advertising. In this chapter, we analyze the effects of programmatic advertising on the perceptions of advertised content and user attitudes toward the protection of personal data.
Michal Dostál, Marián Lamr
The Credibility of Online Recommendations
Online recommendations and their impact on customers’ decision-making process during online shopping are still growing. Customer reviews represent a particular type of content created by random users without professional expertise who base their opinions on their subjective experience. Therefore, user reviews are very different from traditional reviews, where an expert evaluates the goods. The paradox is that user reviews have recently become more popular and more sought after on the Internet than traditional, professional reviews. Customers are more often interested in the layman’s view and the opinion of other users, in which they can empathize, than in professional reviews, which can be either too technical or sometimes commercially colored. However, what makes a review credible and influential remains a question. In this chapter, we propose a credibility model of online recommendations based on previous research conducted in this area.
Marián Lamr, Michal Dostál
The Relationship Between Product Placement and Shopping Intentions on Instagram
Influencer marketing on Instagram is a marketing communication tool used more and more frequently by all brands. Most companies are now turning to social networks to promote their products and get closer to their potential consumers. Marketing influence via product placements seems to have positive repercussions on company sales. Nevertheless, it seems that the continued presence of brands on social networks, via influencers, causes consumer fatigue, even annoyance, who feel invaded by advertising messages. Therefore, the main objective of this chapter is to analyze how product placements on Instagram influence consumers’ purchase intention and to what extent this new type of marketing communication could lead to the development of negative attitudes and annoyance.
Lenka Suková, Ladislava Míková
Product Endorsement by Opinion Leaders: The Case of YouTube Community
Content creators are now an integral part of brands’ communication strategies to integrate the advertising message organically into pre-existing content such as partnerships, product placements, and sponsored content. It is this power of influence over a target audience that brands seek. However, its effectiveness is conditioned by many factors. These factors may include prerequisites such as the influencer being perceived as a credible source with his audience, the subscriber having a parasocial relationship with the influencer, or the subscriber feeling homophily towards the influencer. This chapter explores the dynamic between influencer endorsement on YouTube and brand attitudes and shopping intentions. The chapter combines the information from 20 test sessions, including a real brand-YouTuber collaboration video and the analysis of comments posted under this video.
Petr Weinlich, Tereza Semerádová
Achieving Business Competitiveness in a Digital Environment
Dr. Tereza Semerádová
Ph.D. Petr Weinlich​
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Print ISBN