Distribution structures for food home shopping
In this paper, the relation between the constructs operational complexity, Web-based orientation of the company and the company's distribution structure used for the fulfillment of Internet customer orders is investigated in the food home shopping branch. A model is proposed with relations between these constructs, which is researched through a survey among food e-tailers. A positive association between operational complexity and the distribution structure used could be established, meaning that more complex operations (with a full-line assortment and a large number of orders) tend to have special (Internet orders only) distribution centers for the fulfillment of Internet customer orders. Companies with a store infrastructure tend to keep using this existing infrastructure (unless the number of orders becomes large) and new Internet-only companies tend to use special Internet-orders only warehouses, unless the number of orders is small, in which case cooperation with existing stores is preferred.