In this paper, the relation between the constructs operational complexity, Web‐based orientation of the company and the company’s distribution structure used for the fulfilment of Internet customer orders is investigated in the food home shopping branch. A model is proposed with relations between these constructs, which is researched through a survey among food e‐tailers. A positive association between operational complexity and the distribution structure used could be established, meaning that more complex operations (with a full‐line assortment and a large number of orders) tend to have special (Internet orders only) distribution centres for the fulfilment of Internet customer orders. Companies with a store infrastructure tend to keep using this existing infrastructure (unless the number of orders becomes large) and new Internet‐only companies tend to use special Internet‐orders only warehouses, unless the number of orders is small, in which case co‐operation with existing stores is preferred.
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2002
Keywords: Distribution; Logistics; Retail trade; Electronic commerce; Food