Adoption and Performance of Mobile Sales Channel for e-Retailers: Fit with M-Retail Characteristics and Dependency on e-Retailing

Yen Chun Chou, Benjamin B.M. Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While the Internet drives the first transition of sales channels from physical stores to web storefronts, it is mobile devices like smartphones that provide the mobility and ubiquity wired desktop computers lack and that enable the second transition from e-retailing to m-retailing. Unlike the first transition that has been well studied in the literature, the follow-up transition from e-retailing to m-retailing has been under-explored. In this paper, we examine this transition by studying the timing of e-retailers’ initiation of m-retail sales channels (as years of adoption) and the performance of such adoption (as business value). We employ a theoretical contingency framework that classifies firms by the fit between characteristics of merchants and capabilities of the mobile sales channel (i.e., ubiquitous access capability and limited information search capability). We find that firms which sell time critical products and hence benefit from ubiquitous access are inclined to adopt m-retailing early. Interestingly, those firms that adopt early do not necessarily show the greatest values at all times. Instead, the type of performance metrics used matters. Apart from the distinct capabilities of the mobile sales channel, our finding suggests that dependency on existing e-retailing also has a positive effect on a firm’s m-retailing performance. Especially, the influence of e-retailing varies with the fit of a merchant with the mobile sales channel as well as the type of performance metric used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-694
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Capabilities of mobile channel
  • Contingency theory
  • Dependency on e-retailing
  • Mobile retailing
  • Omnichannel retailing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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