Management International Review

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 733–757 | Cite as

Internationalization Speed of Online Retailers: A Resource-Based Perspective on the Influence Factors

  • Matthias Schu
  • Dirk Morschett
  • Bernhard Swoboda
Research Article


Numerous examples of online retailers that have internationalized shortly after their foundation indicate that they internationalize faster than and different from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. This paper identifies and analyzes various influence factors on internationalization speed of online retailers and their impact on individual internationalization steps. Grounded in the resource-based view, the paper examines the effects of imitability of an online shop, the presence of venture capitalists, the scope of the country portfolio and distance and diversity within the country portfolio on the internationalization speed of online retailers. A Cox proportional hazards model is used to explore the effects on speed and their variations over time. Drawing on a sample of 150 online retailers (1110 market entries in 47 country markets over 19 years), this study shows significant curvilinear effects of the imitability of an online shop, as well as of the diversity and scope of the existing country portfolio and linear effects of the distance of new country markets on the length of time until the next internationalization step.


Internationalization speed Resource-based view E-commerce Imitability Distance Diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Schu
    • 1
  • Dirk Morschett
    • 1
  • Bernhard Swoboda
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Fribourg/SwitzerlandFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.Universität TrierTrierGermany

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