EVALUATION AND COMPARISON OF B2C E-COMMERCE INTENSITY IN EU MEMBER STATES
Name and surname of author:
Hana Kunešová, Ludvík Eger
B2C e-commerce, e-commerce intensity index, European Union, multi-criteria decision analysis, TOPSIS
DOI (& full text):
Electronic commerce in the business-to-consumer sphere (B2C e-commerce) represents a signiﬁcant factor in the competitiveness of companies and entire economies. The purpose of this paper is to…more
Electronic commerce in the business-to-consumer sphere (B2C e-commerce) represents a signiﬁcant factor in the competitiveness of companies and entire economies. The purpose of this paper is to propose a tool to evaluate and compare B2C e-commerce intensity in economies. The authors address the following research questions: What is the position of individual EU member states in terms of B2C e-commerce intensity? Is there a strong correlation between B2C e-commerce intensity and the level of economic development of EU member states? Is there a correlation between B2C e-commerce intensity and the length of the countries’ EU membership?
From a theoretical background, key indicators of B2C e-commerce intensity are selected, which are aggregated into the B2C e-commerce intensity index using the TOPSIS method. The results of the multi-criteria evaluation and the positions of individual countries in the overall order indicate that in terms of B2C e-commerce intensity, EU member states are a rather heterogeneous group. The order of countries based on the value of the B2C e-commerce intensity index exhibits a strong and statistically signiﬁcant correlation with the order of the countries in terms of the level of their economic development. However, the differences in the countries’ economic development do not sufﬁciently explain the differences in the use of B2C e-commerce. The results indicate that there is a large unused potential of B2C e-commerce in the EU, not only in countries with weaker economies, but also in highly developed countries. The correlation between B2C e-commerce intensity and the duration of EU membership is moderate. It would be beneﬁcial for further research to focus on the question of which factors have boosted the relatively high use of B2C e-commerce in some new EU member states with lower level of economic development (Estonia and Lithuania) and what obstacles prevent more intensive use of B2C e-commerce in Italy and Austria, whose level of economic development signiﬁcantly exceeds that of the aforementioned countries.