Cost behavior in e-commerce firms

Josep M. Argilés-Bosch, Josep Garcia-Blandón, Diego Ravenda

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We conduct empirical research on the flexibility of operating costs of e-commerce firms. With an international sample of firms from different European countries, we find that e-commerce firms have a different cost structure than traditional retail firms, with a lower share of labor costs and cost of goods sold, but a higher share of other operating costs. While we find no significant different behavior in cost of goods sold and labor costs between the two types of firms, e-commerce firms are more flexible in adjusting other operating costs than traditional retail firms when activity decreases. Results are robust to different models, estimations methods and samples. The higher flexibility of e-commerce firms relies on other operating costs, but e-commerce creates qualified jobs with higher wages than traditional retail, with no additional exposure to labor uncertainty for employees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalElectronic Commerce Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cost behavior
  • E-commerce
  • Labor costs
  • Operating costs
  • Retail firms


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