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


Have you made a purchase from a three dimensional Virtual World (VW)? Probably not, only a small minority have. When VWs first became popular fifteen years ago, people jumped to the conclusion that they were the future, the new platform to socialise online. Their adoption however did not end up being exponential. So why do the experts often think VWs, with their additional functionality are the future, but that future has not come yet? We decided to ask the consumer.
There is a degree of understanding on what each channel can offer but the relative advantage of each channel in relation to the others is less understood. By relative advantage we mean something the one channel, for example three dimensional VWs, have an advantage over two dimensional, traditional, websites. This research, evaluates the relative advantage between the channels of three-dimensional VWs, two-dimensional websites, and offline retail shops. The consumer’s preferences across the three channels, were distinguished across six relative advantages.

Figure 1 The three channels and six relative advantages in multichannel retail
In the figure, you can see at the top the six different relative advantages, and beneath them, how the three different channels perform, in relation to these relative advantages. Participants, showed a preference for offline and 2D websites, in most situations apart from enjoyment, entertainment, sociable shopping, the ability to reinvent yourself, convenience and institutional trust where the VWs were preferred.
We can look in more detail at the fifth relative advantage, that VWs have higher institutional trust compared to 2D websites. Consumers value the role of the VW as an institution in relation to trust. One feature that is appreciated is that the buyer does not receive your banking details. Some participants value the role of the VWs administration in identifying and warning about specific threats.
The findings illustrated in the figure, show that the consumer’s preference varies across the three channels, and six RAs. An organization pursuing a multichannel strategy, can adapt their offerings in each channel to fully utilize these different preferences.
While on most issues VWs are the least appealing from the three channels, framing the comparison with the six relative advantages shows how they have a useful and complementary role to play in multichannel retail. For example, customer support can be done in VWs. An organization, can use these findings to shape their business model and strategy.

Reference
Zarifis A. (2019) ‘The six relative advantages in multichannel retail for three-dimensional Virtual Worlds and two-dimensional websites’, Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science, June 19–21, Boston, USA, pp.363-372. Available from: https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3292522.3326038