As part of a course in the Master Program Economic Geography in winter semester 2015/16, students dealt with the topics of internationalization, digitizationand and sustainability in trade.
Due to advances in technology and internationalization of e-commerce physical borders are becoming less important. Online shopping across borders – or cross-border e-commerce – offers online retailers as well as online customers new possibilities, for instance to offer the goods in foreign markets and to buy goods from other countries online. Buying and selling cross-border online is bound to increase freight traffic, as the distance between warehouses of the trade or the manufacturer and the costumers increases, thereby significantly increasing the environmental impact.
To what extent the debate about increasing freight traffic and the corresponding ecological consequences for the online trade affinity (students and academic staff) plays a role in the decision for cross-border online shopping was the research question oft he seminar. Based on a questionnaire developed in the project seminar and a quantitative survey on the campus of the RWTH Aachen, a structural eqution model was set up. The results were used to derive factors influencing cross-border online purchsing behaviour.