Advances in Supply Chain Management in the Era of Electronic Commerce

Editors

School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Interests: applied mathematics; uncertainty; project scheduling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Management Science and Engineering, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing 400067, China
Interests: Supply chain management; regional development strategy; business administration

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Guest Editor
Department of Management Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
Interests: Pricing Strategy; Hotel Revenue Management

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Supply chain management includes five basic elements: planning, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, and return. These all play a significant role in the success or failure of a firm. With the growth of electronic commerce, an increasing number of retailers or manufacturers have opened a direct, online channel to sell products, through which they can reach final consumers more easily. The issue of how to manage online channels and address their relationship with traditional channels has attracted much attention. Specifically, the questions of whether the pricing decisions change or not after introducing an online channel, and how managers address competition between the two channels in the era of electronic commerce, are both worth discussing.

Electronic commerce brings not only opportunities for supply chain enterprise but also challenges. For example, compared with the traditional offline channel, consumers can browse and compare similar products with less effort in the online channel when making purchase decisions. This consumer behavior intensifies the competition among enterprises and further induces the latter to set a lower price in order to obtain a greater share of the market. Consequently, the question of how to deal with the competition reasonably is a key aspect related to the success of supply chains. In addition, the impact of electronic commerce on the supply chain involves distribution logistics, online reviews, online payment, returns management, and so on. The above issues should be studied and resolved to improve supply chain performance. Therefore, this Special Issue focuses on advances in supply chain management in the era of electronic commerce.

The relevant topics for the Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Supply chain management in electronic commerce;
  • Supply chain coordination in electronic commerce;
  • Pricing and marketing strategies in supply chains;
  • Operation decisions of dual-channel supply chains;
  • Consumer preference behavior in electronic commerce;
  • Channel competition between the online and offline channels;
  • Supply chain operation in omnichannel commerce.

Prof. Dr. Hua Ke
Prof. Dr. Zhiguo Li
Dr. Zhang Zhao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • E-commerce
  • Supply chain management
  • Customer behavior
  • Pricing decisions
  • Marketing strategy
  • Competition
  • Coordination
  • Retailing channels

Published Papers (13 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

25 pages, 1418 KiB  
Review
COVID-19 and Supply Chain Disruption Management: A Behavioural Economics Perspective and Future Research Direction
by Chase Smith and Hajar Fatorachian
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2023, 18(4), 2163-2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer18040109 - 29 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most severe disruptions to normal life, impacting how businesses operate. The academic literature in the areas of supply chain and operations management has been trying to explain how this has affected decision-making in businesses. However, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most severe disruptions to normal life, impacting how businesses operate. The academic literature in the areas of supply chain and operations management has been trying to explain how this has affected decision-making in businesses. However, the existing literature has predominantly overlooked organisational culture and behavioural economic theories. This paper contends that considering the decisions made in supply chain disruption management involve groups and the individuals within them, the relevance of behavioural economic concepts becomes paramount. As such, the objective of this paper is to conduct an integrative literature review, utilising the purposive sampling method to explore the dearth of academic work connecting behavioural economic theories and organisational culture to supply chain disruption management. Additionally, the paper aims to offer guidelines for future research in this domain. Enhancing our comprehension of these domains concerning supply chain disruption management would empower firms to better anticipate their parties’ decisions, refine their decision-making models, and cultivate stronger relationships with suppliers and customers. Full article
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21 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Optimal Recommendation Strategies for AI-Powered E-Commerce Platforms: A Study of Duopoly Manufacturers and Market Competition
by Chi Zhou, He Li, Linlin Zhang and Yufei Ren
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2023, 18(2), 1086-1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer18020055 - 07 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
Artificial intelligence-powered recommendation systems have gained popularity as a tool to enhance user experience and boost sales. Platforms often need to make decisions about which seller to recommend and the strength of the recommendation when conducting recommendations. Therefore, it is necessary to explore [...] Read more.
Artificial intelligence-powered recommendation systems have gained popularity as a tool to enhance user experience and boost sales. Platforms often need to make decisions about which seller to recommend and the strength of the recommendation when conducting recommendations. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the recommendation strategy of the platform in the case of duopoly competition. We develop a game model where two competing manufacturers sell products through an agency contract on a common platform, and they can decide whether or not to provide recommendations to the manufacturers. Our highlight lies in the endogenous recommendation strength of the platform. The findings suggest that it is optimal for the platform to offer recommendation services when the commission rate is high. The platform also prefers to only recommend one manufacturer in the market with low or high competition, but it prefers to recommend both manufacturers in moderately competitive markets. From the view of manufacturers, they can benefit from the recommendation service as long as the commission rate is not too low. Moreover, recommending only one manufacturer consistently yields stronger recommendations compared to recommending multiple manufacturers. However, the impact of recommendation on prices is influenced by the commission rate and product substitutability. These results have significant implications for platform decision making and provide valuable insights into the trade-offs involved in the development of recommendation systems. Full article
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19 pages, 1734 KiB  
Article
An Explainable Artificial Intelligence Approach for Multi-Criteria ABC Item Classification
by Alaa Asim Qaffas, Mohamed-Aymen Ben HajKacem, Chiheb-Eddine Ben Ncir and Olfa Nasraoui
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2023, 18(2), 848-866; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer18020044 - 11 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2490
Abstract
Multi-criteria ABC classification is a useful model for automatic inventory management and optimization. This model enables a rapid classification of inventory items into three groups, having varying managerial levels. Several methods, based on different criteria and principles, were proposed to build the ABC [...] Read more.
Multi-criteria ABC classification is a useful model for automatic inventory management and optimization. This model enables a rapid classification of inventory items into three groups, having varying managerial levels. Several methods, based on different criteria and principles, were proposed to build the ABC classes. However, existing ABC classification methods operate as black-box AI processes that only provide assignments of the items to the different ABC classes without providing further managerial explanations. The multi-criteria nature of the inventory classification problem makes the utilization and the interpretation of item classes difficult, without further information. Decision makers usually need additional information regarding important characteristics that were crucial in determining the managerial classes of the items because such information can help managers better understand the inventory groups and make inventory management decisions more transparent. To address this issue, we propose a two-phased explainable approach based on eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) capabilities. The proposed approach provides both local and global explanations of the built ABC classes at the item and class levels, respectively. Application of the proposed approach in inventory classification of a firm, specialized in retail sales, demonstrated its effectiveness in generating accurate and interpretable ABC classes. Assignments of the items to the different ABC classes were well-explained based on the item’s criteria. The results in this particular application have shown a significant impact of the sales, profit, and customer priority as criteria that had an impact on determining the item classes. Full article
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19 pages, 735 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Return Shipping Insurance on a Retailer Based on Restricting Rights
by Xingyi Yang, Xiaopei Dai and Zhenyu Liu
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2023, 18(1), 706-724; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer18010036 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1826
Abstract
In e-commerce, retailers often use return shipping insurance (RSI) to solve consumer returns, leading to a high return rate. To reduce this negative effect, we consider restricting rights to restrict consumers from obtaining RSI or buying products. We examine the effect of RSI [...] Read more.
In e-commerce, retailers often use return shipping insurance (RSI) to solve consumer returns, leading to a high return rate. To reduce this negative effect, we consider restricting rights to restrict consumers from obtaining RSI or buying products. We examine the effect of RSI on retail pricing strategies and profits under restricting rights. We formulate a game-theoretical model which consists of one insurer, a retailer and two types of consumers (informed consumers and uninformed consumers). By solving the model, we find that even though the insurer has restricted uninformed consumers from obtaining RSI, the retailer further restricts them from buying the product when the salvage value is low. Second, when the retailer and insurer have no right to restrict uninformed consumers, purchasing RSI may hurt the retailer. Third, when the insurer restricts uninformed consumers and the product salvage is low, the retailer adopts the high-price strategy; otherwise, the retailer adopts the low-price strategy. Finally, when the product salvage is low, the retailer will prevent uninformed consumers from buying the product by adopting the high-price strategy or using the restricting right. In this case, the insurer will set a higher premium. Full article
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19 pages, 4914 KiB  
Article
Research on Green Closed-Loop Supply Chain Considering Manufacturer’s Fairness Concerns and Sales Effort
by Nian Zhang, Jinyu Wu, Bin Li and Deqiang Fu
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2023, 18(1), 333-351; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer18010018 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
To reduce resource loss and environmental pollution, green CLSC has become a hot issue that manufacturing enterprises pay attention to. In green CLSC, manufacturers would pay attention to the fairness of profit distribution when making sales efforts. Therefore, this paper studies a green [...] Read more.
To reduce resource loss and environmental pollution, green CLSC has become a hot issue that manufacturing enterprises pay attention to. In green CLSC, manufacturers would pay attention to the fairness of profit distribution when making sales efforts. Therefore, this paper studies a green closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) considering manufacturer sales efforts and fairness concerns. Then, the centralized model and decentralized model are built and analyzed. Afterward, a profit-sharing contract between members is designed to coordinate the supply chain. We made the following observations: (1) The manufacturers’ fairness concerns would reduce product green degree, sales effort and recycling rate of used products, which is not conducive to the sustainable development of the green closed-loop supply chain. (2) When the manufacturers’ fairness concerns are gradually strengthened, the optimal decisions would deviate even more from the optimal equilibrium results. (3) When the coefficient of fairness concerns and the ratio of profit-sharing satisfy a certain range, Pareto improvement can be effectively realized. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

22 pages, 880 KiB  
Article
Strategic Business Mode Choices for E-Commerce Platforms under Brand Competition
by Jing Yu, Jingjing Zhao, Chi Zhou and Yufei Ren
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(4), 1769-1790; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17040089 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3217
Abstract
Relying on the rapid development of information and internet technologies, e-commerce has boomed over the past decade. As a link between manufacturers and consumers, the e-commerce platform has a crucial position in the online retailing market. The e-commerce platform not only provides an [...] Read more.
Relying on the rapid development of information and internet technologies, e-commerce has boomed over the past decade. As a link between manufacturers and consumers, the e-commerce platform has a crucial position in the online retailing market. The e-commerce platform not only provides an online marketplace through which the manufacturers directly sell products to consumers but also purchases and resells manufacturers’ products to consumers. Therefore, when the e-commerce platform provides services to manufacturers, it is faced with the selection of two sales methods: reselling or marketplace. Using a game theoretic model, we focus on the strategic interactions between an e-commerce platform and two brand manufacturers in four different business modes. The results show that the e-commerce platform profits more when both brand manufacturers directly sell products through the online marketplace. From the two brand manufacturers’ points of view, using the e-commerce platform as a reseller is always more profitable than directly selling, no matter which business mode they are in. The above findings have important implications for the selling decisions of the e-commerce platform and brand manufacturers. Furthermore, an interesting and counterintuitive result is that the new brand manufacturer benefits more than the existing brand manufacturer when consumers’ acceptance of the new brand products is becoming lower. When production costs are low, only the two brand manufacturers can achieve a mutually beneficial situation by selling products to the e-commerce platform. Moreover, the competition among brand manufacturers is beneficial to the e-commerce platform. Our research provides a theoretical basis for brand manufacturers and the e-commerce platform to make more rational decisions, and it updates the existing knowledge about brand competition and e-commerce platform’s business mode choices. Full article
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32 pages, 6955 KiB  
Article
How Do Consumer Fairness Concerns Affect an E-Commerce Platform’s Choice of Selling Scheme?
by Lin Chen, Guofang Nan, Qiurui Liu, Jin Peng and Junren Ming
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(3), 1075-1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17030055 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2993
Abstract
Considering consumer fairness concerns, this paper investigates an e-commerce platform’s selling scheme choice when it adopts a wholesale selling scheme or an agency selling scheme to create a contract with a manufacturer. We find that the intensity of the fairness concerns and the [...] Read more.
Considering consumer fairness concerns, this paper investigates an e-commerce platform’s selling scheme choice when it adopts a wholesale selling scheme or an agency selling scheme to create a contract with a manufacturer. We find that the intensity of the fairness concerns and the platform fee are key factors affecting the platform’s optimal selling scheme choice. Specifically, when these two factors are relatively high or low, the wholesale selling scheme outperforms the agency selling scheme in terms of the e-commerce platform’s profit. Otherwise, the e-commerce platform should adopt the agency selling scheme. Moreover, when these two factors are sufficiently large or small, the wholesale selling scheme will yield a win-win result for the players of the e-commerce supply chain. Interestingly, we find that, considering fairness-minded consumers, a larger platform fee may be harmful to the platform. We also extend the baseline model to consider the consumer heterogeneity of fairness concerns, proportional platform fee, fairness concern about the manufacturer’s profit, and endogenous platform fee. We find that the main insights remain qualitatively unchanged under these model extensions. Full article
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18 pages, 2006 KiB  
Article
New Practice of E-Commerce Platform: Evidence from Two Trade-In Programs
by Qiang Hu, Tingyuan Lou, Jicai Li, Wenjin Zuo, Xihui Chen and Lindong Ma
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(3), 875-892; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17030045 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
In the context of developing the digital platform economy, trade-in programs have become an effective strategy for e-commerce platforms to stimulate consumption. Many head e-commerce platforms have launched their own trade-in programs. However, the existing research on trade-in programs is still stuck in [...] Read more.
In the context of developing the digital platform economy, trade-in programs have become an effective strategy for e-commerce platforms to stimulate consumption. Many head e-commerce platforms have launched their own trade-in programs. However, the existing research on trade-in programs is still stuck in the traditional trade-in model. The purpose of this study is to explore whether there is a new and more beneficial trade-in program. In this paper, we construct the Stackelberg game model between a brand owner and a B2C e-commerce platform under two trade-in programs and use optimization theory to obtain the equilibrium results of the model. The results indicate that the performance improvement of the new-generation product will promote the increase in two-generation products’ price under traditional trade-in programs, the price of the new-generation product will increase, and the price of the previous-generation product will decrease under new trade-in programs. The brand owner always prefers traditional trade-in to new trade-in. However, the e-commerce platform prefers traditional trade-in to new trade-in just when the previous-generation product is durable enough and the performance improvement of a new-generation product is small enough; otherwise, it prefers new trade-in to traditional trade-in. These findings are beneficial to the operational practices of e-commerce platforms and brand owners. Full article
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18 pages, 503 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Marketing Resource Allocation with Two-Stage Decisions
by Siyu Zhang, Peng Liao, Heng-Qing Ye and Zhili Zhou
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(1), 327-344; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17010017 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
In the precision marketing of a new product, it is a challenge to allocate limited resources to the target customer groups with different characteristics. We presented a framework using the distance-based algorithm, K-nearest neighbors, and support vector machine to capture customers’ preferences toward [...] Read more.
In the precision marketing of a new product, it is a challenge to allocate limited resources to the target customer groups with different characteristics. We presented a framework using the distance-based algorithm, K-nearest neighbors, and support vector machine to capture customers’ preferences toward promotion channels. Additionally, online learning programming was combined with machine learning strategies to fit a dynamic environment, evaluating its performance through a parsimonious model of minimum regret. A resource optimization model was proposed using classification results as input. In particular, we collected data from an institution that provides financial credit products to capital-constrained small businesses. Our sample contained 525,919 customers who will be introduced to a new product. By simulating different scenarios between resources and demand, we showed an up to 22.42% increase in the number of expected borrowers when KNN was performed with an optimal resource allocation strategy. Our results also show that KNN is the most stable method to perform classification and that the distance-based algorithm has the most efficient adoption with online learning. Full article
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18 pages, 597 KiB  
Article
A Workload-Balancing Order Dispatch Scheme for O2O Food Delivery with Order Splitting Choice
by Ke Wang, Yulin Zhou and Lingzhen Zhang
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2022, 17(1), 295-312; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer17010015 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3685
Abstract
Online-to-offline (O2O) food delivery service refers to an emerging modern business model that enables customers to order foods from local restaurants via an online platform, and then receive and enjoy them offline after the delivery, offered by couriers. Such service, discussed in this [...] Read more.
Online-to-offline (O2O) food delivery service refers to an emerging modern business model that enables customers to order foods from local restaurants via an online platform, and then receive and enjoy them offline after the delivery, offered by couriers. Such service, discussed in this article, specifies that a customer can order from multiple restaurants in a single order and choose for them to be delivered together or separately, whereas the commonly discussed mode only permits placing an order in one restaurant at once. In this service, one crucial issue is how to dispatch these orders to couriers for offline delivery. For this, we propose a new three-stage order dispatch scheme, namely, pseudo-assign first, re-route second, and courier selection last, aiming to deliver the orders in time and balance the couriers’ workload. Due to the dynamism and uncertainty inherently involved in this issue, we also take responsiveness to future demands and robustness into consideration when making the dispatch. Compared with existing approaches, the new one significantly balances the couriers’ workload and, meanwhile, keeps good performance in delay rate, making the decisions more practical. Furthermore, this study analyzes the influence of customers’ preference for order splitting and number of couriers on the efficiency of the distribution system, thereby interesting managerial insights for O2O food delivery are revealed. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

16 pages, 2421 KiB  
Article
The Protective Effect of Digital Financial Inclusion on Agricultural Supply Chain during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from China
by Da Fang and Xiaoke Zhang
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 3202-3217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070174 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4934
Abstract
Financial inclusion plays a positive role in protecting agriculture during or after disaster. This paper focuses on the protective effect of digital financial inclusion on the agricultural supply chain and analyzes three mechanisms of the protective effect: financial widening, financial deepening, and financial [...] Read more.
Financial inclusion plays a positive role in protecting agriculture during or after disaster. This paper focuses on the protective effect of digital financial inclusion on the agricultural supply chain and analyzes three mechanisms of the protective effect: financial widening, financial deepening, and financial services digitization. Based on the Gravity Equation, we conduct an empirical study using agricultural logistics and digital financial inclusion data from China. The regression results indicate that a 1% increase in the digital financial inclusion, measured by the Peking University Digital Inclusion Index, increases agricultural trade during the COVID-19 pandemic by approximately 1.6%. Furthermore, heterogeneous protective effects exist between regions in China. Digital financial inclusion is more effective in the Eastern regions in protecting the ASC than in other regions. This paper enriches the understanding of financial inclusion in helping agriculture supply chain recovery. Full article
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17 pages, 427 KiB  
Review
Supplier Encroachment in the Supply Chain in the E-Commerce Age: A Systematic Literature Review
by Huijie Li and Zhiguo Li
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2655-2671; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070146 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3529
Abstract
The evolution of e-commerce drives suppliers to develop online direct selling channels to encroach on the retail market, in addition to the traditional distribution channels through the retailer. A systematic literature review (SLR) approach is adopted in this paper to review the existing [...] Read more.
The evolution of e-commerce drives suppliers to develop online direct selling channels to encroach on the retail market, in addition to the traditional distribution channels through the retailer. A systematic literature review (SLR) approach is adopted in this paper to review the existing studies using theoretical models to capture supplier encroachment behavior, as well as the related industry practice phenomena and strategic factors in the supply chain. We present the major research streams according to the selected encroachment literature from two aspects: channel conflict and coordination as well as information structures. We also generalize the significant practical strategies and strategic factors that have been investigated, combined with supplier encroachment, such as investment and spillover effects, the retailer’s store brand introduction, strategic inventory, and contract mechanism designs. More importantly, we summarize the classical theoretical models which include the basic models, the signaling game model, and the Hotelling model, and these have been widely used by scholars to capture the supplier’s encroachment behavior. Finally, we provide several suggestions which may be valuable for researchers to identify future potential research directions. Full article
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17 pages, 2243 KiB  
Article
Integrated Production and Transportation Scheduling in E-Commerce Supply Chain with Carbon Emission Constraints
by Weixin Wang, Shizhen Wang and Jiafu Su
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2554-2570; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070140 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2365
Abstract
Carbon emission constraints and trading policies in e-commerce environments have brought huge challenges to the operation of supply chain enterprises. In order to ensure the good operation of the e-commerce supply chain in a low-carbon environment, a supply chain scheduling optimization method based [...] Read more.
Carbon emission constraints and trading policies in e-commerce environments have brought huge challenges to the operation of supply chain enterprises. In order to ensure the good operation of the e-commerce supply chain in a low-carbon environment, a supply chain scheduling optimization method based on integration of production and transportation with carbon emission constraints is proposed; we use it to analyze the impact of centralized decision-making mode and decentralized decision-making mode on supply chain scheduling and establish a scheduling optimization model that aims at optimal carbon emissions and costs. A multilevel genetic algorithm was designed according to the characteristics of the model, and numerical examples are used to verify the effectiveness of the model and algorithm. The results show that the centralized decision-making mode plays the role of the carbon emission constraints to the greatest extent; the carbon emissions and the cost are smallest in the centralized decision-making mode. The decentralized decision-making mode leads to the overall cost preference of the supply chain due to separate decisions made by enterprises, and the carbon emissions in the supply chain are greater. Transportation experts, business managers and government departments are interesting for integrated production and transportation scheduling in e-commerce supply chain with carbon emission constraints. Further research should address integrated production and transportation scheduling in dual-channel low supply chains. Full article
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