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Matthias Schu examines three main topics in his research: The intention of store-based retail and wholesale companies to open up an own online channel, factors determining the foreign market selection behavior of online retailers as well as factors affecting the speed in the internationalization process of online retailers. New insights for retail research and management are presented and contribute to existing knowledge; the study is valuable for academic researchers and for practitioners who are interested in a thorough analysis of online retailing from a strategic and theoretical perspective.




“As we enter the twenty‐first century, business conducted over the Internet, with its dynamic, rapidly growing, and highly competitive characteristics, promises new avenues for the creation of wealth” (Amit and Zott 2001, p. 493). Established retailers, as well as newly risen pure players have discovered e‐commerce as a means of doing business, with manifold reasons, e.g. as a way to improve efficiency, grow market share, expansion in new markets, or because online retailing is seen as essential for the long‐term survival of the retailer (Ferguson et al. 2005). Indeed, the emergence of online shops has dramatically changed the retail industry over the last decade (Gartner Industry Research 2012; Verhoef et al. 2015).
Matthias Schu

Establishment of Online Shops by SME Retailers and Wholesalers – A Rational Decision or Institutional Pressure? (Essay 1)

In many different sectors of trade, online selling has steadily gained in importance over recent years, and it is predicted to continue on this growth path (Gartner Industry Research 2012). A growing number of retail and wholesale companies have started to sell goods through online channels (Rask and Kragh 2004; Yang et al. 2007; Zentes and Rittinger 2009; Rittinger and Zentes 2012). For many companies, establishing an online channel poses a major challenge (Schoenbachler and Gordon 2002), especially for SMEs, due to the scarcity of available resources (Rawwas and Iyer 2013; Vaaland and Heide 2007).
Matthias Schu

Foreign Market Selection of Online Retailers – A Pathdependent Perspective on Influence Factors (Essay 2)

The emergence and quick rise of online shops has dramatically changed the retail industry over the last decade (Gartner Industry Research 2012). E‐commerce already accounts for 2.45 % (EUR 423 bn) of European GDP (E‐Commerce Europe 2015). At the same time, internationalization of retailers is an ongoing trend.
Matthias Schu

Internationalization Speed of Online Retailers – A Resource‐based Perspective on the Influence Factors (Essay 3)

The globalization of markets and limited possibilities for growth in national markets have increasingly caused retailers to internationalize their operations; managing operations in diverse country markets has become a critical task (Assaf et al. 2012; Hoenen and Kostova 2014). This trend has been shown in the literature for store‐based retailers, but it is even more relevant for online retailers that appear to internationalize more rapidly and different from brick‐and‐mortar retailers. There is widespread agreement that the internet is providing firms with new ways to conduct business (Loane et al. 2004).
Matthias Schu

Overall Conclusions

As stated initially, retailing has been subjected to dramatic changes within the last 20 years. Besides the internationalization of retailers, which has been described as ever increasing (Waarts and van Everdingen 2006), the advent of online retailing is one of the most important changes in the evolution process of retailers in the last two decades. Moreover, the majority of studies in the sector of IB literature have been conducted in the context of manufacturing firms and cannot be transferred without reservation from the manufacturing to the retail sector (Elsner 2014).
Matthias Schu


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