E‐commerce: exploring the critical success factors

Enrico Colla (Novancia Business School Paris, Paris, France)
Paul Lapoule (Novancia Business School Paris, Paris, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 5 October 2012



The objective of this piece of qualitative research is to identify the key success factors (KSFs) of the grocery “click and drive” (or drive or drive‐in) model developed by French grocery retail companies and to understand the basis of their competitive advantages.


The authors compare the conclusions of a review of the literature with an analysis of the various grocery drive‐in approaches developed in France. These approaches are studied by applying a multi‐method qualitative perspective comprising semi‐structured interviews with managers and e‐consumer focus groups.


The research confirms – with the exception of the quality of customer reception, which is particularly valued by managers and consumers – the main key success factors identified in the literature, and reveals a real consensus among the main operators on those KSFs and on the nature of the kind of core competences required in order to obtain competitive advantages.

Research limitations/implications

The comparison of the real profitability of “drive‐in” sales outlets and a more precise evaluation of the advantages of an integrated multi‐channel approach would provide more accurate results. Moreover, the authors have limited this study to an analysis of the French experience. The research implies that French grocery retailers should develop, along with a more differentiated logistical system, an improved approach to customer relations marketing. Moreover, it implies that “click and drive” outlets enable traditional grocery retailers to sharpen their competitive edge.


This article provides an original analytical approach to the identification of the critical success factors of large grocery retailers developing drive‐in services. In answering this research question, the study should also help large grocery retailers to achieve their development objectives and counter the stagnation of traditional retail formats, especially the hypermarket.



Colla, E. and Lapoule, P. (2012), "E‐commerce: exploring the critical success factors", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 11, pp. 842-864. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590551211267601

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