Impact of E-Commerce Sales on Profitability and Revenue. The Case of the Manufacturing Industry
E-commerce has grown significantly in recent years. Although the factors that contribute to the implementation of e-commerce have been studied in prior literature, little has been done about the impact that the introduction of e-commerce has on both profitability and revenue. This is important because, as Solow (1987) points out, the information technology expenditures do not always allow firms to achieve a better performance. For this purpose, the authors use the data from the Spanish Survey on Business Strategies (ESEE). The research covers an eight-year period (2008-2015). 2,544 Spanish companies belonging to the manufacturing sector were analysed. Results show that neither business-to-business (B2B) nor business-to-consumers (B2C) e-commerce seem to have influence on the revenue growth. Therefore, a substitution effect may exist between the sales by physical channels and e-commerce sales. However, the authors have found evidence that companies which adopt a high level of e-commerce (B2C and B2C simultaneously) immediately experience increase in their profitability. Moreover, if firms adopt only B2B or B2C the positive effects on profitability are achieved in the year subsequent to that of the measurement of the e-commerce status.