Dr Alex Zarifis

This research explores the beliefs of a consumer from outside China, that is buying Chinese products. The findings highlight the importance of the cues of the country-of-origin, on foreign consumers’ intention to purchase Chinese products. The results also enhance our understanding of consumers’ beliefs on purchasing foreign products in general (Bao et al., 2022).

There are three practical implications:

Firstly, this study highlights several significant factors that may enable e-commerce managers, to strengthen consumers’ intention to purchase Chinese products. Cross-border e-commerce platforms should improve product quality, brand image, control cost and follow international business norms, as these act as a guarantee for foreign consumers.

Figure 1. Impacts of country-of-origin image on product evaluation and purchase intention

Secondly, cross-border e-commerce platforms should provide different advertising or marketing strategies for products with different levels of involvement. For example, for low-involvement products, managers should put more advertising effort into the product itself, and emphasize the quality of the product, and the high speed of delivery. For high-involvement products, marketing should emphasize the image of the product’s country of origin.

Thirdly, consumers’ nowadays may perceive more external-product cues, instead of the product itself. Cross-border e-commerce platform managers should be aware that the image of the product’s country of origin, heavily influences the consumers’ perceived product value. Nevertheless, they should also pay attention to the cross-border e-commerce company’s social norms, and develop effective policies to maintain consumers’ interests and rights.

Reference

Bao Y., Cheng X. & Zarifis A. (2022) ‘Exploring the impact of country-of-origin image and purchase intention in cross-border e-commerce’, Journal of Global Information Management, vol.30, iss.2, pp.1-20. Available from (open access): https://doi.org/10.4018/JGIM.20220301.oa7

Dr Alex Zarifis
There has been rapid development in Cross-Border E-Commerce (CBEC) in recent years, and it is strengthening the global economy. However, compared to other trade mechanisms, the mechanism of CBEC is more complex. It appears that staff with special talents are needed to start a business trading across borders. Research has presented some solutions for the challenges of cross-border e-commerce from the perspective of the enterprise. However, not enough is known about the cross-border e-commerce talents requirements, and how to train people to develop them.

Requirements of CBEC talents
We found four core the requirements of Cross-Border E-Commerce talents (Cheng et al., 2019): (1) Firstly, having business and marketing knowledge is critical to Cross-Border E-Commerce talents. Both theoretical and practical knowledge are important components in business and marketing knowledge. (2) Secondly, technical skills for trading online is necessary. For example, dealing with all the problems in the process of online trading is important. (3) Thirdly, it’s common to handle difficult situations when business across borders, hence analytical ability is needed for them to solve these problems. (4) Last but not least, all these skills we mentioned are not independent of having practical ability in business, which is the core the requirement.
In summary, business and marketing knowledge, technical skills, analytical ability and practical ability in business were found to be the four core requirements of CBEC talents.

Figure 1. Training model for people working in cross-border e-commerce

Training model for CBEC talents
After finding the four core requirements, we analyzed several teaching methods. We then chose Problem-Based Learning (PBL), which typically involves learning based on solving real problems. We applied WeChat in the training model, so the real work environment is replicated more closely. Writing a business plan was also applied in the training model as the way of practicing practical skills. The problem oriented training model encourages discussions and learning new knowledge. By successfully applying the model in teaching, this research provides a new direction to cultivate the CBEC talents.

Reference
Cheng X., Su L. & Zarifis A. (2019) ‘Designing a talents training model for cross-border e-commerce: A mixed approach of problem-based learning with social media’, Electronic Commerce Research, vol.19, iss.4, pp.801-822. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-019-09341-y