Title: A comparative cost analysis of e-business and brick-and-mortar business based on quantitative data

Authors: Soichi Nishikiori; Kunihiko Higa

Addresses: Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Innovation Management, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan ' Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Innovation Management, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Abstract: In the existing literature, the cost savings with the use of information and communication technology (ICT) have not been clearly verified for companies conducting e-business (EB). In this study, a comparative cost analysis is made between companies conducting brick-and-mortar business (BMB) and EB by using a large number of financial statement data. The results of the study have revealed that the introduction of ICT does not necessarily mean that cost savings will be categorically found in EB, but differences have been found among industrial categorisations. In addition, administrative costs to sales ratio of BMB is higher than that of EB and in some industrial categorisations, the increase in customer and market costs exceeds cost savings. The findings that, contrary to the general belief, the cost saving in EB are not guaranteed, instead, the cost aspect of EB should be considered based on the industrial categorisation.

Keywords: e-business; e-commerce; electronic business; electronic commerce; financial management; customer costs; market costs; financial statements; transaction costs; comparative analysis; cost analysis; bricks-and-mortar business; cost savings; ICT; industrial categorisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2014.065826

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2014 Vol.11 No.4, pp.332 - 353

Accepted: 01 Mar 2014
Published online: 17 Nov 2014 *

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