Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 261–273 | Cite as

Impact of Shipping Distance on Online Retailers’ Sales: A Case Study of Maiyang on Tmall

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Abstract

Many studies have qualitatively explained that information and communication technology (ICT) has loosened the restrictions of distance and space on retailers’ sales. Few empirical studies, however, have explored the impact of shipping distance on online retailers’ sales. This study examined the Maiyang (M-Y) store on Tmall in China as a case study to investigate the relationship between shipping distance and sales. The results showed that sales volume in 2014 at the county level did not strictly obey the distance decay law. The shipped distance of high-priced commodities may not be much longer than that of low-priced commodities. Within the scope of investigation, the relationships between income, cost, and net profit curves do not follow central place theory. Goods have neither thresholds nor ranges. The key factor in the spatial discrepancy of sales is the size of market. The impact of shipping distance on sales is not as strong as that of traditional retailers in Information Era.

Keywords

online retailers shipping distance central place theory 

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Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank M-Y for its data support, and we acknowledge the reviews of anonymous referees.

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography and PlanningSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Public AdministrationGuangdong University of Finance and EconomicsGuangzhouChina

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