Cross-border e-commerce firms as supply chain integrators: The management of three flows

Ying Wang, Fu Jia, Tobias Schoenherr, Yu Gong, Lujie Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-border e-commerce is becoming increasingly popular around the world. With the development of technology, competition has gradually shifted from commodity-based attributes, such as cost and quality, to a supply chain's service capacity for e-commerce. Within this context, the present paper delineates how cross-border e-commerce firms can generate supply chain service capabilities that yield improvements in supply chain relationship quality to e-tailors and other platform users. Insights are derived through data collected via a multiple case study approach based on four Chinese cross-border e-commerce enterprises (OSell, Zongteng, BizArk and Linca); data were collected from 41 semi-structured interviews, field visits and secondary data. Relying on the service-dominant logic as the theoretical foundation, we identify three supply chain resources (flows related to information, logistics and finance) and their interplay as being critical for the development of supply chain service capabilities, which in turn lead to an improvement in the quality of supply chain relationships (assessed by the dimensions of trust improvement/commitment, risk mitigation, and customer satisfaction). The results offer important insights into how to best manage supply chain resources in relation to the three flows by cross-border e-commerce firms in order to foster relationship quality, an attribute that has become so critical today for competitive differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-88
Number of pages17
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Case studies
  • Cross-border e-commerce
  • Service supply chains
  • Service-dominant logic


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