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“It’s a new game out there”: e-commerce in internationalising retail SMEs
Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
School of Business, Society and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden; Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management. House of Innovation, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: International Marketing Review, ISSN 0265-1335, E-ISSN 1758-6763Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how market factors (pertaining to institutions, competition and resources) shape the international strategies of an online retailer.

Design/methodology/approach

A single qualitative case study research design is employed to conduct in-depth analyses of a Swedish internationalising small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in the retail business.

Findings

The findings show that online retailers can use partnerships to tackle industry dynamics and break into foreign markets. This type of “piggy-back internationalisation” can be an effective strategy of handling foreign market dynamics in the entry phase: that is to say, the short term. Reliance upon relationships, however, may paradoxically inhibit retailers’ abilities to stay competitive in the post-entry phase (i.e. the long term) since they become cut-off from the first-hand market learning.

Research limitations/implications

The authors provide propositions based upon the findings to support further research in the international marketing and international retailing literature.

Practical implications

The findings enhance the understanding of how electronic commerce affects SME internationalisation. They also generate new insights into the use of possible international expansion strategies for managers in retail SMEs.

Originality/value

This study introduces a new theoretical perspective to build upon international retail research and contributes to the international retail literature with relevant insights into both advantages and disadvantages of using partnerships to overcome challenges related to international online retailing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-397442DOI: 10.1108/IMR-03-2018-0107OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-397442DiVA, id: diva2:1371586
Funder
Torsten Söderbergs stiftelse, E19/16Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IMR-03-2018-0107/full/pdf

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