eSIM – Spatial modelling of e-groceries demand

Authors: Joris Beckers*, Universiteit Antwerpen, Graham Clarke, University of Leeds, Nick Hood, University of Leeds, Andy Newing, University of Leeds
Topics: Business Geography, Quantitative Methods, Economic Geography
Keywords: e-commerce, spatial interaction model
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The socio-economic drivers behind the rise in online shopping have been increasingly documented in the academic literature. Factors such as age, income and education level (e.g. Clemes et al., 2014; Punj, 2011) have been found to significantly influence the propensity to use online retail channels. At the same time, a range of geographical studies have sought evidence for the so-called efficiency theory which predicts high e-commerce rates in areas with lower physical retail accessibility, especially rural areas (Beckers et al., 2018; Clarke et al., 2015; Kirby-Hawkins et al., 2019). Taking these factors into account, the objective of this paper is to estimate small-area demand for e-commerce groceries across the Yorkshire area of the UK. In contrast to previous studies that have mostly applied regression models to survey results, this paper constructs a spatial interaction model (SIM) which includes, for the first time, the demand for e-groceries. The SIM offers the opportunity to include socioeconomic characteristics and physical retail accessibility as two separate components. This allows for contrasting both the innovation and efficiency hypothesis and to assess the relative magnitude of their impacts. Using a SIM provides the possibility to predict the impact of both changing consumer demands on e-commerce sales and the impacts of changes to face to face retailing on e-commerce sales. This way it serves as a tool for retailers to better manage the organization of their different retail channels.

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