In many Northern European countries, the sale of convenience goods through the Internet is experiencing a slow but undeniable growth. The emergence of this new distribution channel has brought into existence an extremely productive research area on the key factors which food e-tailers need to master for a lasting success in this field. The central nature of a perfect logistical organization is particularly emphasized in the areas of cost and service quality, both in terms of order fulfillment and order delivery. There is no question of minimizing the importance of logistics in the success of online transactions, as e-consumers obviously expect to be delivered at home in good conditions. But can we affirm that logistical performance systematically plays a crucial role for food e-tailers in obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage? By critically examining the relevant literature, this paper attempts to prove that the answer may be negative. The authors refer to three paradoxes relating to e-grocery logistics: one, the pressure of national and local Authorities leads to the sharing of resources to reduce environmental pollution (first paradox); two, the recognition of an e-marketing mix dissolves logistical performance in a set of non-logistical variables whose weight is probably significant in e-consumers’ behavior (second and third paradoxes).
Bonet, Dominique and Paché, Gilles, "Logistical Performance as a Key Factor of Success for European Food E-tailers– Three Paradoxes and a Research Agenda" (2004). ICEB 2004 Proceedings. 94.