University of Twente Student Theses


E-Commerce 2025 – Delphi-based Scenario & Trend Analysis for the Future of Digital Commerce

Terbeck, Hendrik (2014) E-Commerce 2025 – Delphi-based Scenario & Trend Analysis for the Future of Digital Commerce.

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Abstract:Electronic commerce sales are increasing with double-digit growth rates and a high level of uncertainty characterizes e-retailing. In order to keep up with volatile consumer demand and new technological possibilities, strategy makers require foresight studies. However, academic foresight analyses in the e-commerce domain with a focus on technologies did not exist. Hence, this thesis investigated the future of B2C electronic commerce with a Delphi-based scenario analysis to develop four scenarios for 2025 on the basis of macro and meso environmental drivers. This study accurately applied Schwartz’s Eight-step approach for scenario building and assessed retail trends in nine qualitative expert interviews and two quantitative Delphi-survey rounds with 61 industry experts. It was found that 3D printing and cross-channel big data technologies possessed the greatest impact to disrupt the industry. It was obtained that digital personal shopping assistants as well as an ongoing forward integration by suppliers and producers are very likely to occur. The four developed scenarios differ along two bipolar dimensions of uncertainty, i.e. changes in lifestyles and pervasiveness of technologies. This study extended existing knowledge with a novel conceptualization for future B2C commerce that reflects the complex and multifaceted industry by differentiating between five shopping experiences.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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