Impact of E-Commerce Sales on Profitability and Revenue. The Case of the Manufacturing Industry


  • Pedro Lorca University of Oviedo, Spain
  • Javier De Andrés University of Oviedo, Spain
  • Julita García-Diez University of Oviedo, Spain



E-commerce, Sales, Profitability, E-business, Manufacturing firms


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.

Author Biographies

Pedro Lorca, University of Oviedo, Spain

P. Lorca is Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Oviedo (Spain). He received his MS (1993) and PhD (2000) in Business Administration. His research interests include ERP systems and Technology Management. Dr. Lorca has published over 50 articles in journals and refereed proceedings, that include International Journal of Management, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, International Journal of Digital Accounting Research, or Information Systems Management. He is member of the Standing Committee on New Technologies and Accounting of the Spanish Association of Accounting and Business Administration.

Javier De Andrés, University of Oviedo, Spain

J. de Andres is Professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Oviedo (Spain). He is also the Vice-Dean of the Technical Computing School at the same University. He received his MS and PhD in Economics in 1993 and 1998 respectively. His research interests are Artificial Intelligence based systems, ERP systems and XBRL. He has published more than 40 chapters in books and papers in refereed scientific journals such as the Online Information Review, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Series C- Applied Statistics) and the International Journal of Technology Management, among others

Julita García-Diez, University of Oviedo, Spain

Julita García-Diez is Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at the University of Oviedo (Spain). She received is MS and PhD degrees in Business Administration. She has taught accounting and auditing courses at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. She has published university textbooks in Accounting and many papers in refereed scientific journals like the International Journal of Management, Global Business and Economics Review and Information Processing and Management among others. She has attended numerous national and international Accounting congresses and has served as an hoc reviewer for various academic journals and conferences on Accounting.

Additional Files