Business Benefits of Online-To-Offline Ecommerce: A Theory Driven Perspective

Par Jiwat Ram, Siyao Sun
Online-to-offline (O2O) is a rapidly-growing business innovation, yet knowledge on the benefits of adopting O2O remains limited. In particular, theoretically informed studies are scarce. Thus, this study uses the theory of IT business value to examine: which benefits can businesses realise by adopting O2O? Qualitative data (from 24 semi-structured interviews) are analysed using content-analysis techniques, and indicate that O2O benefits businesses through: (1) leveraging complementarities to optimise online–offline resource use and efficiencies, (2) profiling customers’ behaviours to reach potential customers and (3) enlarging customer feedback channels to gain augmented customer understanding. Contrary to the belief that online mode is central to success, we find that leveraging offline business mode is still considered beneficial and an important avenue for building e-commerce activities. Theoretically, the results provide new insight on the benefits of adopting O2O. Managers can use the results for business case development and strategising benefit realisation of adopting O2O.
JEL Codes: O33, L86
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