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Success Factors and Challenges for E-Commerce Within the Fashion Industry

Rebecca Härkönen ; Joacim Svärd
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2017. 75 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2017:042, 2017.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

E-commerce within fashion is the worldwide most commonly purchased category of products online, with an annual revenue of 840 billion SEK in 2016. It is also one of the most mature categories in online sales, where competition has become fierce to such extent that physical stores have went out of business. Much research has been focused on certain areas within the fashion segment of e-commerce such as distribution, integration of physical and online sales channels as well as characteristics of the organizations. However, there is a dearth regarding holistic studies that investigates success factors and challenges for the whole value chain combining both support and primary activities. This thesis introduces success factors and challenges which comprises all activities for companies active within fashion e-commerce, to obtain an understanding of which factors that are important throughout the value chain. In addition to finding relevant and current theories within the topic, the study starts with a literature review to find a relevant framework to enable a structured way of work. The chosen framework, Porter’s value chain, is modified to fit the fashion e-commerce context and consists of seven areas; (1) organization, (2) human resources, (3) information technology and systems, (4) procurement, (5) warehousing, (6) marketing, sales and service, and (7) distribution. To collect empirical data, semi-structured interviews with company representatives from some of Sweden’s largest fashion e-commerce retailers are conducted, as well as interviews with experts and researchers with relevant knowledge in the scope of the thesis. This data is then compared with the theories, as well as segments of the interviewed companies are also compared with each other in order to find patterns and discrepancies. The patterns and similarities act as foundation for conclusions upon the success factors and challenges within fashion e-commerce, whereas many discrepancies imply contextual differences between segments of the interviewed companies. The findings of the thesis lead to conclusions that the retailers are well aware of that physical sales are losing shares to e-commerce and that they face great challenges related to this development, such as a re-organization of their businesses to better integrate sales channels with each other. Several success factors and challenges are found within each activity category in the value chain, and many differences between companies appear to depend on whether they are operating both physical and online sales channels or only an online sales channel. Lastly, some areas within fashion e-commerce have been identified where support from external parties in general would be suitable.

Nyckelord: Keywords: E-commerce, Fashion, Success factors, Challenges, Omni-channel

Publikationen registrerades 2017-06-20. Den ändrades senast 2017-06-20

CPL ID: 249985

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