E-Commerce Engagement: A Prerequisite for Economic Sustainability—An Empirical Examination of Influencing Factors

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Economic sustainability for firms of all sizes and sectors is likely to depend on some type of online commercial activity. While technical barriers to e-commerce are not high, adaptability to new online markets is a critical part of sustainable economic growth for many firms. The Chinese e-commerce market has increased dramatically to become larger than that of the United States, Europe, and Japan combined. This study explores the underlying factors that influence Chinese online consumers’ acceptance and patronage of the online shopping platforms where those firms must operate. Firm competition in the e-commerce platform in China is highly competitive, making exploration of the factors that influence consumer purchase behaviour more valuable. After an extensive qualitative focus group study, a quantitative online survey of 691 savvy Chinese online shoppers was completed. When the data was subjected to structural equation modelling (SEM) for analysis, it was found that a model of three factor constructs explains whether an online shopping platform would be the preferred online shopping platform of choice. E-commerce platform preference (EPP) can predict purchase intention (PI) and site commitment (SC). The results explain why e-commerce platforms should address important EPP factors such as: order fulfilment and delivery process, company image enhancers, the variety of products offered, the design of the online shopping platform, trust of its recommendation system, and finally, awareness of the online shopping platform itself. These findings may be of interest to e-commerce practitioners as well as those whose research interests include e-commerce and consumer behaviour.

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Sustainability (Switzerland)



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