The emerging geography of e-commerce in British retailing

Graham Clarke, Christopher Thompson, Mark Birkin
2015 Regional Studies, Regional Science  
This paper explores the growth of e-commerce in British grocery retailing and examines the spatial variations in e-commerce usage. The main data source is a large commercial consumer survey (Acxiom's Research Opinion Data) rarely used by academics to date. Using these data in combination with census data, the paper addresses a number of key questions. After outlining key trends in the dataset on e-commerce usage (by product and over time) the first research question is: How do e-commerce
more » ... o e-commerce purchases vary by geodemographic group? To answer this question, we explore e-commerce usage by age, sex and social class. The second key question is: Does e-commerce usage vary by type of geographical region? Thus, we explore variations in usage for urban and rural areas. The dynamics of urban-rural diffusion are also addressed hereby examining, in addition, the spread of broadband use across Britain. The last question is: To what degree do e-commerce sales vary by access to physical stores? This is addressed by examining consumers' home locations in relation to geographical accessibility. The results show that age and income are crucial demographic discriminators of e-commerce usage, as is rural location versus urban, and distance from physical stores.
doi:10.1080/21681376.2015.1054420 fatcat:eynulbl5k5gghd4omm6nnq2siu