Cross-border electronic commerce: distance effects and express delivery in European Union markets


Kim, T., Dekker, R. and Heij, C. 2017. Cross-border electronic commerce: distance effects and express delivery in European Union markets. International Journal of Electronic Commerce. 21 (2), pp. 184-218.
TitleCross-border electronic commerce: distance effects and express delivery in European Union markets
AuthorsKim, T., Dekker, R. and Heij, C.

This empirical study examines distance effects on cross-border electronic commerce and in particular the importance of express delivery in reducing the time dimension of distance. E-commerce provides suppliers with a range of opportunities to reduce distance as perceived by online buyers. They can reduce psychological barriers to cross-border demand by designing websites that simplify the search for and comparison of products and suppliers across countries. They can reduce cost barriers by applying pricing strategies that redistribute transportation costs, and they can overcome time barriers offering express delivery services. This study of 721 regions in five countries of the European Union shows that distance is not “dead” in e-commerce, that express delivery reduces distance for cross-border demand, and that e-demand delivered by express services is more time sensitive and less price sensitive than e-demand satisfied by standard delivery. The willingness of e-customers to pay for express services is shown to be affected by income and by the relative lead-time benefits and express charges. Furthermore, the adoption of express delivery is positively associated with e-loyalty in terms of repurchase rates. The results confirm the importance for e-suppliers of cleverly designed delivery services to reduce distance in order to attract online customers across borders.

KeywordsCentralized distribution centers, cross-border demand, distance, distance effects, express delivery, global e-commerce, gravity model, willingness to pay
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Publication dates
Online12 Jan 2017
Print03 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Nov 2019
Accepted05 Aug 2016
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

Published version: © 2017 Thai Young Kim, Rommert Dekker, & Christiaan Heij. Published with license by Taylor and Francis
Final accepted version: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Electronic Commerce on 12/01/2017, available online:,

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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