Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 13, Issue 1, Year 2023

Page 1

Editorial Board of “Holistic Marketing Management”

(A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University)

Editor-in-Chief

Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA

Bernd HALLIER

President of European Retail Academy; President of EuCVoT; Member of the Astana Economic Scientists Club; Former Managing Director EHI Retail Institute, Germany, Chairman of the Advisory Board of EuroShop, Chairman of the Board of the Orgainvent, Trustee of EHI Retail Institute at GLOBALG.A.P.

John SAEE

John L. STANTON

President - Association of Global Management Studies (USA); Editor-in-Chief, JournalofEntrepreneurshipandSustainabilityIssues &FormerEditor-in-Chief, Journal of Management Systems, USA; Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, the Facultyof Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology; Member of France’s National Academy of Scientific Research (CNRS); Director - ESB International Teaching and Research Exchanges, Reutlingen University, Germany

Professor of Food Marketing, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, USA; Director, Institute of Food Products Marketing, Editor, Journal of Food Products Marketing; Hall of Fame of the European Retail Academy, Honored Personality 2016

Léon F. WEGNEZ

William PERTTULA

Levent ALTINAY

Secretary General, International Association of the Distributive Trade, AIDA Brussels; Member of France’s Academy of Commercial Sciences; Doctor Honoris Causa of NUPSPA (SNSPA) Bucharest; Hall of Fame of the European Retail Academy, Honored Personality 2015; Administrator Secretary General of the Diplomatic Club of Belgium

Internet Marketing Professor, College of Business, San Francisco State University, USA

Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Research Area Leader, Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Andrew KILNER

First MBA Director at the Rennes Graduate School of Business in France; Director of RAFME Research into Management Excellence; PhD (Cambridge), MBA (City, London)

Dana ZADRAZILOVA Faculty of International Economic Relations, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic

Riccardo BELTRAMO University of Turin, Italy

Sinisa ZARIC University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Gabriela SABĂU Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Canada

Hélène NIKOLOPOULOU University of Lille 3, France

Vasa LÁSZLÓ Szent Istvan University, Hungary

Peter STARCHON Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

John MURRAY Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

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Kamil PÍCHA Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice

Irena JINDRICHOVSKA Deputy Head of Department of Business Economics, University of Economics and Management, Prague, Czech Republic

Norbert HAYDAM Faculty of Business, Marketing Department, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Hans ZWAGA Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Roxana CODITA Technische Universität München, TUM School of Management

Valeriu IOAN-FRANC

Corresponding Member of the Romanian Academy, General Deputy Director, National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kiriţescu”, Romanian Marketing Association; Romanian Distribution Committee

Dumitru MIRON Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, President of RAFPEC (FRAPEC)

Iacob CĂTOIU Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest

Virgil BALAURE Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest

Gheorghe ORZAN Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest

Luigi DUMITRESCU Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

Marius D. POP Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

Constantin ROŞCA President of Romanian Scientific Society of Management - SSMAR

Petru FILIP Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest

Ion VOICU SUCALA

Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Management and Economic Engineering Department; University of Glasgow, UK, College of Social Sciences, School of Social & Political Sciences; Managing Editor, Review of Management and Economic Engineering

Virgil POPA Valahia University of Târgovişte

Alexandru NEDELEA Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava

Olguța Anca ORZAN Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest

Ana-Maria PREDA

Ovidiu FOLCUȚ

Doinița CIOCÎRLAN

Costel NEGRICEA

Tudor EDU

Alexandru IONESCU

Andreea Elisabeta BUDACIA

Marius Dan DALOTĂ

Mihai PAPUC

Gheorghe ILIESCU

Oana PREDA

Olga POTECEA

Nicoleta DUMITRU

Monica Paula RAȚIU

Alexandra PERJU-MITRAN

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Romanian-American University

Associate Editors

Dan SMEDESCU

Irina PURCĂREA

Art Designer Director

Alexandru BEJAN

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“Holistic Marketing Management”

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refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University) Volume 13, Issue 1, Year 2023 Contents Theodor PURCĂREA - Disrupted and Reshaped Global Supply Chains, Marketing Performance, and Marketers’ New Tool ChatGPT and Its Competition 4 Valentin-Marius STOICA and Tudor EDU - Researching the Behavioral Elements of Online Video Game Players. A Detailed Analysis Using SPSS. Part III: Analysis of Video Game Users’ Behavior in Romania..........12 Bernd HALLIER - Empowered by Cooperation, Multidimensional Management, and Silk Road Meets EuroShop...................................................................26 Ioan Matei PURCĂREA - E-Commerce, Marketing Technology Stake, and Improved DCX 30 Dan SMEDESCU - ‘Marketing Science and Inspirations’: Cross-cultural analytics, Sustainable marketing, Eco-friendly services, and Conversion rate optimization................................................................................................41 HMM Personalia Corner ● Ioan Matei PURCĂREA – Measuring the Impact of E-Commerce on the Economy .........................43 The responsibility for the contents of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
(A
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Figure no. 1: Future of Trade 2031 Outlook: Geopolitical Tensions Contribute to Reshaping Trade Flows Source: Gilbert, M., Lang, N., Mavropoulos, G. and McAdoo, M., 2023. Protectionism, Pandemic, War, and the Future of Trade, BCG, January 17, 2023. (Work cited)

In our last HMM Editorial we made reference (Purcarea, 2022), among other aspects, to companies’ need for the right mindset, strategy, and capabilities while approaching the new dimensions of uncertainty and turbulence in today’s interconnected world, also paying attention to customers’ functional, social, and emotional value, and creating it with the help of technology investments, considering digital transformation and improved customers’ and employees’ experience. It is largely recognized what is considered critical for raising marketing performance (campaign execution time, customer engagement, and cost savings), and to competitive advantage (the necessary marketing capabilities like data ownership and strategy, media planning and execution, content creation and optimization, measurement, and last but not least marketing technology), as underlined by the reputed BCG (Senzer et al., 2022).

In December last year Chartr (2022) brought to our attention a significant picture (see figure below) regarding how an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot – ChatGPT, from OpenAI –quickly become very successful in the technology world:

Source: Chartr, 2022. ChatGPT. The AI bot taking the tech world by storm, Newsletter, December 9, 2022 (Work cited)

A recently published article in European Business Review (Fares, O.H., 2023) analyzed the great interest of both businesses and consumers in the new technology ChatGPT (both providing creative content, and supporting content ideation), considering its great potential to

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Figure no. 2: ChatGPT, from OpenAI Is a Bot Taking The Tech World By Storm

revolutionize both marketing strategies (enhancing marketing effectiveness), and customer experience (CX). And as from the point of view of Gartner’s hype cycle in adopting this new technology consumers appear to build their expectations (getting close to the highest point of inflated triggers stages), marketers are challenged “to set realistic expectations for consumers and navigate the integration of ChatGPT to mitigate the effects of the trough of disillusionment stage” (while facing the gap between consumers’ expectations and understanding of the pitfalls of ChatGPT). As shown by Fares: before integrating this new technology assisting humans (who are providing not only relevancy, character, and experience, but also personal connection) it is imperative for marketers to adopt and implement the appropriate strategy; it is also important to take into account both ChatGPT’s possibilities for enhancing marketing processes (supporting content creation and data analysis, enhancing customer service twenty-four hours a day, and automating repetitive marketing tasks), and limitations (only a human-like tool but without emotional intelligence, not error free, and lacking humans’ lived experience and understanding of the complex human nature).

On the other hand, as recently shown by Ahn and Chen (2023), beyond its recognized advantages: in order to both increase ChatGPT applications’ relevance and timeliness, and enhance UX data sources (considering limited datasets) should include both pre-existing, and real-time and current data, ensuring this way its properly functioning; in order to ensure the provision of both accurate and up-to-date information (taking into account ChatGPT relatively weakness in providing new insights, advice, and recommendations with regard to a new phenomenon lacking pre-existing data and information) may be necessary data collection and digitization with the help of human action. They also brought to our attention: the possible ChatGPT contribution to human ability decline of both remembering specific facts, and critically thinking; the creation by ChatGPT of both benefits and challenges in learning and research environments, including from the point of view of educational integrity

Within this framework, it is also worth highlighting other aspects, such as:

• The significant message, regarding important implications for business school education, of the reputed Professor Christian Terwiesch from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Terwiesch, 2023), who documented the performance of Chat GPT3 on the final exam of Operations Management (as a typical MBA core course);

• The recently released by the young Edward Tian from Princeton University of his GPTZero app (based on his GitHub Co-Pilot software, and powered by GPT-3) in order to stop the misuse of the ChatGPT, and becoming able to learn how to use this new technology, as well as taking the appropriate measure to carefully enter the challenging future (Rosalsky and Peaslee, 2023);

• How Microsoft’s Consumer CMO recently (a few weeks after making known the significant Microsoft’s investment in ChatGPT owner OpenAI) saluted Bing’s new chatbot (seen as being better than ChatGPT, and being clearly customized for search) improved by Prometheus model

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from the point of view of relevancy, furnishing answers with explanatory notes, yielding more recent results, understanding geolocation, and better safety; how Google reacted to ChatGPT by announcing entering within a short time on this relevant market (making it known for the first time) with its Bard chatbot (already available to Google’s trusted testers, according to the CEO of Alphabet and Google), based on a smaller version of Google’s AI model LaMDA (that was built by adjusting precisely a family of transformer-based neural language models specialized for conversation), and focusing on producing easy-to-digest formats from multiple sources of information (Goldman, 2023). It is interesting to note the already remarkable close acquaintance with ChatGPT among US adults, as shown in figure below.

Source: Goldman, J., 2023. Driven by ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google debut the next generation of search, Insider Intelligence, Feb 8, 2023. (Work cited)

• The test recently made by an Editor for Search Engine Land (who is covering all things PPC, pay-per-click) with the new ChatGPT integrated Bing browser, and concluding that she could see herself regularly using this new technology (Farley, 2023).

Recently, the Founder and CEO of the marketing technology management platform CabinetM (Brearton, 2023), Anita J. Brearton (Author of the book “Attack Your Stack: A Guide

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Figure no. 3: Familiarity with ChatGPT Among US Adults, by Demographic, Jan 2023

to Building and Managing Your Marketing Technology Stack”, 2 Nov. 2018), expressed her continuous astonishment regarding “how few companies know what’s actually in their stack or how well those products are performing. Sooner or later there will be a reckoning and hopefully, it will be because of budget overruns and not because of data privacy or security issues which is a real risk when flying blind. If it were up to me, I’d anoint 2023 as the << year of stack rationalization >>”. In her opinion, the decline in investment in marketing technology industry is explained by two main factors, the economic uncertainty and the so-called investment fatigue, and among other aspects she presented a comparison between the new product launches in the last two years (see figure below), as shown in the 2022 year-end MarTech Innovation Report published by CabinetM.

Source: Brearton, A., 2023. The state of martech in 2023, MarTech, February 6, 2023. (Work cited)

It is useful now to highlight that according to Gartner (2023), in the current uncertain economy (characterized by inflation, supply chain constraints, and rising talent costs), in order to establish guideposts for planning CMOs must avoid budget cuts and focus on valorizing (as shown in figure below) both marketing analytics, and marketing mix modeling, establishing marketing investment triggers, predicting their impact, and targeting marketing-led innovation.

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Figure no. 4: Top 10 Launch Categories

Source: Gartner, 2023. 3 Techniques to Prove Marketing Value. [pdf] Gartner for Marketers, eBook, p 2. (Work cited)

Without doubt, marketers are under pressure to deal with challenging times, even more so now entering the new marketing universe which is metaverse, as underlined by (Hollensen, Kotler and Opresnik, 2022).

Editor-in-Chief

References

Ahn, M.J. and Chen, Y.-C., 2023. Building guardrails for ChatGPT, The Brookings Institution, February 7, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2023/02/07/building-guardrails-for-chatgpt/> [Accessed 8 February 2023].

Brearton, A., 2023. The state of martech in 2023, MarTech, February 6, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://martech.org/the-state-of-martech-in-2023/> [Accessed 9 February 2023].

Chartr, 2022. ChatGPT. The AI bot taking the tech world by storm, December 9, 2022, Today's Topics. [online] Available at: <https://www.chartr.co/newsletters/2022-12-09> [Accessed 10 February 2023].

Fares, O.H., 2023. ChatGPT Could be a Game-Changer for Marketers, but it won’t Replace Humans any Time Soon, European Business Review, February 7, 2023, originally published in The Conversation on 22 January 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/chatgpt-could-be-a-game-changer-for-marketersbut-it-wont-replace-humans-any-time-soon/> [Accessed 8 February 2022].

Farley, N., 2023. Test driving the new Bing, Search Engine Land, February 7, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://searchengineland.com/test-driving-the-new-bing-392841?> [Accessed 9 February 2023].

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Figure no. 5: CMOs Respond to Economic Uncertainty in a variety of Ways

Gartner, 2023. 3 Techniques to Prove Marketing Value. [pdf] Gartner for Marketers, eBook, pp. 1-2, 8. Available at: <three-techniques-to-prove-mktg-value_ebook> [Accessed 2 February 2023].

Gilbert, M., Lang, N., Mavropoulos, G. and McAdoo, M., 2023. Protectionism, Pandemic, War, and the Future of Trade, BCG, January 17, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/protectionismpandemic-war-and-future-of-trade?> [Accessed 7 February 2023].

Goldman, J., 2023. Driven by ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google debut the next generation of search, Insider Intelligence, Feb 8, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/driven-by-chatgptmicrosoft-google-debut-next-generation-of-search?> [Accessed 9 February 2023].

Hollensen, S., Kotler, P., Opresnik, M.O., 2022. Metaverse – the new marketing universe, Journal of Business Strategy, ahead-of-print. 2022. Doi: 10.1108/JBS-01-2022-0014.

Purcarea, T., 2022. Brand as an Important Source of Power, and Risk Culture in Dealing with Organization’s Most Pressing Issues, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 12(4), pp. 04-10, December.

Rosalsky, G., Peaslee, E., 2023. This 22-year-old is trying to save us from ChatGPT before it changes writing forever, Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), January 17, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.wpr.org/22-yearold-trying-save-us-chatgpt-it-changes-writing-forever> [Accessed 8 February 2023].

Senzer, S., Agrawal, R., Colgan, M. and He, S., 2022. Solving the Build-or-Buy Equation in Marketing, Boston Consulting Group, September 22, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.bcg.com/publications/2022/approachto-marketing-capabilities-dilemma> [Accessed 7 February 2023].

Terwiesch, C., 2023. Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA? A Prediction Based on Its Performance in the Operations Management Course. [pdf] Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2023.

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Researching the behavioral elements of online video game players. A detailed analysis using SPSS. Part III: Analysis of video game users’ behavior in Romania

Abstract

It is well-known that communication was always encouraged by interactivity generating knowledge and meaning, while active participation is enabling valuable content, deeper immersion being created by better video game players’ experience. Marketers are challenged to reach online video gamers by leveraging new opportunities identified on the relevant market, the rapidly increasing video game industry offering an interesting example of relationship between the sales of both hardware, and software. The very competitive and dynamic video game market is influenced by both the continuous technological advance, and the changes in trends and preferences of video game consumers, who are attracted by innovation in this video game industry which has become one of the largest entertainment industries globally. That is why a coherent analysis of the video game users’ behavior it is really useful. This paper is divided into four chapters, as follows. Part I is an introduction to the video game industry, presenting the economic power of the industry, the main factors influencing the video game consumers’ behavior, as well as particularities of the marketing strategies in the industry. Part II presents the marketing environment of one of the largest video game companies, namely Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. The main aspects analyzed are the microenvironment and the macroenvironment of marketing, each with its particularities. The SWOT analysis of the company will also be presented. In Part III, the actual study of the paper is presented, starting from the formulation of the conceptual framework of the scientific approach, continuing with the list of the research problem and purpose, objectives and hypotheses, and the definition of research variables. At the end, the applied research method is exemplified and the results are analyzed and interpreted. Part IV contains the research conclusions and recommendations for Ubisoft Entertainment SA company based on the results obtained in Part III.

Keywords: Online video game players; Users’ behavior; Video game market

JEL Classification: D83; L82; L83; M31

Introduction

In this chapter, the study process, the definition of the studied problem, as well as the research tools and techniques in the creation and analysis of data and results will be presented in detail.

3.1 The conceptual framework of launching the scientific approach

This subchapter includes the notions that lay the foundations of the research approach. These notions include: defining the problem and the purpose of the research, presenting the research objectives, highlighting the research hypotheses and determining the research variables.

3.1.1 Defining the problem and the purpose of the research

Opportunities often arise in the video game market, and in recent years, the greatest opportunity is to increase the number of potential consumers.

At the same time, the video game market continued to be very competitive, but also very open, especially with digitalization. Thus, defining the profile of video game consumers becomes increasingly problematic.

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The Romanian market of video games has many potentials, especially due to the increase in areas of Internet coverage to more and more households and the increase of the population's access to technology.

The purpose of this research is to create the profile of Romanian consumers of video games and to compare it with that of people of other nationalities.

3.1.2 Research objectives

Since the public interest is a complex structure to analyze, 6 objectives were drawn up as shown in table 3.1 below.

Table 3.1

Research objectives:

No. Objective:

O1 Identification of the most popular types of video games among Romanian respondents

O2 Determining the most popular devices used by Romanians for video games

O3 Identifying the most popular aspects present in video games among Romanian respondents

O4 Determining the frequency with which Romanian consumers spend money on video games

O5 Analysis of the differences in usage between Romanian players and players of other nationalities

O6 Determining the influence that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Romanian players’ decision to use

3.1.3 Research hypotheses

For each individual objective, hypotheses were created, as shown in table 3.2 below.

Table

3.2

Research objectives:

No. Hypothesis:

H1 The most popular types of video games among Romanians are those in the Action / Adventure category, role-playing games and online multiplayer

H2 The most popular device used for video games among Romanians is the smart mobile phone / tablet

H3 The most popular aspects for Romanians present in video games are: plot / story and creativity

H4 Over 50% of Romanian respondents very rarely spend money on video games

H5 There are differences in usage based on the type of devices used and the amount willing to pay for a video game and for micro-transactions

H6 The COVID-19 pandemic had little influence on the Romanian players’ decision to use

3.1.4 Research variables

The research variables are listed and defined in the below tables 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5.

Table 3.3 Research variables (1 out of 3)

No. Variable Conceptual definition

1. General variables to frame the respondents in sample

Sex – the set of physiological and morphological characteristics forming two different genres (Dexonline)

Age – length of time since a person birth up to a certain point in life (Dexonline)

Occupation - occupation, profession,

Operational definition

Sex: Woman, Man

Age: under 18, 18 – 22, 23 – 27, 28 – 32, 33 – 37, 38 –42, over 42

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2. Start date of the video games’ use

3. Distribution of devices used for the video games

4. Duration of video games’ use per session

job (Dexonline)

Nationality – a person’s membership of a certain nationality (Dexonline)

The act of starting and the result of it (Dexonline)

The set of technological devices that a user can operate to play video games (Dexonline)

Regularity with which an action is carried out

Occupation: Full-time employee, part-time employee, student, pupil, without place of work, something else Nationality: Romanian, other nationality

Before or after March 2020

PC / Laptop / Mac; Gaming consoles; Smartphone / Tablet; Something else

Less than an hour; 1 – 2 hours; 3-4 hours; Over 5 hours

Table 3.4 Research variables (2 out of 3)

No. Variable Conceptual definition

5. Preferences related to video games genres

A video game genre is a specific category of games divided by similar gameplay characteristics (Adams, 2013)

6. The frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made

7. The frequency with which activities related to video games are watched

8. Budget for purchasing video games

The regularity with which users purchase video games

Operational definition

Action / Adventure; Sports / Car racing; Role Playing Games (RPGs); Casino; Strategy; Simulations; Puzzles; Online multiplayer; Shooters; Other genres

Not at all; Very rarely (once every 3 months); Rarely (once a month); Often (several times a month); Very often (several times a week / daily)

The regularity with which activities related to video games are watched (let’s play videos, eSports tournaments, etc.)

The portion of the user's income that they can allocate to purchasing video games

Table 3.5 Research variables (3 out of 3)

No. Variable Conceptual definition

9. Monthly budget for micro-transactions

10. Distribution of player types

Not at all; Very rarely (once every 3 months); Rarely (once a month); Often (several times a month); Very often (several times a week / daily)

Under 5 euros; 5 – 15 euros; 16 – 25 euros; 26 – 35 euros; Over 35 euros

Operational definition

Micro-transactions are a business model where users can purchase virtual goods in video games and these often involve small amounts of money and take place online (Ivanov, Wittenzellner and Wardaszko, 2021)

The distribution of players into 4 large categories: (Yee, 2016) The occasional player – plays video games rarely or irregularly; The avid player – plays several times a week; The expert gamer – plays a lot

Under 5 euros; 5 – 15 euros; 16 – 25 euros; 26 –35 euros; Over 35 euros

Casual gamer, avid gamer, expert gamer, professional gamer

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11. Degree of importance regarding various aspects of a video game

of games and plays them daily; The professional gamer – deals with video games at a professional level, earns income from playing video games

The characteristics analyzed (Yee, 2006) are as follows:

Action – aspects such as the use of weapons, dynamic action and the creation of chaos or explosions

Social – aspects like being able to play against other players or teamwork Difficulty – the game requires developing strategies and solving puzzles

Achievements – features like getting trophies and collecting various items Creativity – aspects such as art style, music, character characteristics, graphics

Plot/Story – original and engaging story, characters with history and rich personalities

The popularity of the game or the company that created the game

3.2 Applied research method

Value scale from 1 to 5

Very unimportant – Very important

In this subchapter are presented the methods chosen to carry out the proposed research, and the tools used to collect, process, analyze and interpret data.

3.2.1. Questionnaire methodology and design

To collect the data needed for the analysis, two identical questionnaires were used, one in Romanian language, intended for Romanian players and one in English, intended for international players. It was distributed online through social media platforms.

The questionnaire contains closed questions, short and with a simple structure. Both questionnaires comprise 21 questions of which: a filter question, 7 closed questions with a single answer, 2 closed multiple choice questions, 7 Likert scale questions from 1 (Very unimportant) up to 5 (Very Important) and 4 demographic questions (sex, age, occupation, nationality). The two questionnaires were active and distributed between April 26, 2022 and June 16, 2022. The sample size is 111 respondents for the questionnaire in Romanian and 80 respondents for the English language questionnaire. Following the exclusion of respondents who do not have met the condition in the filter question, the sample size drops to 110 respondents for the questionnaire in Romanian and 79 respondents for the questionnaire in English. This one size corresponds to the dimensions needed in quantitative research of an exploratory nature. (Stebbins, 2001)

3.2.2 Data analysis

The questionnaires were distributed to respondents in digital format through the Google Forms tool. Then, the collected results were exported and retrieved into Microsoft Excel. Following this processing, the responses were imported into the statistical program SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to be analyzed in detail. (Hinton, McMurray & Brownlow, 2014)

Entered into SPSS, the data were coded by category and variables were created as in tables 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5. Then began the process of descriptive statistics using various methods such as frequency distribution, standard deviation and indicators of central tendency.

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3.3 Results analysis

A first observation of the data is presented in Appendix number 1 of the paper.

From the point of view of nationality, it can be observed that Romanians mainly participated in the survey, with a response percentage of 75.7%. The differentiation in terms of gender is equal, with both men and women having a percentage of 47.1%, however, there is a small number of people who decided not to reveal their gender in the questionnaire. Most respondents were already playing video games when the pandemic started, but there are a few who started playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The predominant age of the players is between 23 and 27, which was to be expected from the statistics. (Statista)

Looking at the self-distribution of gamer types, it can be seen that most respondents identify themselves as avid gamers and expert gamers, that is, gamers who have some knowledge of video games. The main platform used by players is the personal computer with a percentage of 88.4%, followed by the mobile phone. The main genres of video games preferred by respondents are Action / Adventure games with a percentage of 76.8%, followed by role playing games with a percentage of 68.9% and online multiplayer games with a percentage of 62.1%.

A graph with the genres of preferred video games is presented in the no. 2 appendix of the paper. The results were analyzed according to the data obtained from the questionnaires and were differentiated according to nationality, thus making it easier to notice the differences between the Romanian players and the players of other nationalities. The percentages were calculated according to the total number of respondents for the Romanian and other nationality categories.

Video game genre preferences are similar for both categories of respondents. Both Romanians and citizens of other nationalities chose Action / Adventure games as the most popular, followed by Role playing games and online Multiplayer games. Following the presentation of the data, it can be seen that the first hypothesis proposed for the research (H1) is confirmed.

The next objective of this research is to determine the most popular devices used for video games. From graph 4.1 it can be seen that the most popular device used both by Romanians and by players of other nationalities to play video games is the personal computer, followed by mobile phones or tablets. This is because so many video games are available on personal computers and because so many households have access to a computer and the Internet.

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Graph 3.1 Preferences regarding the devices used to play video games

There are not very big differences between Romanians and foreigners, but it can be observed that people of other nationalities use mobile phones and gaming consoles to a similar extent. Applying the data to the second hypothesis (H2), it can be seen that it is rejected because the most popular device used among Romanians is the personal computer and not the mobile phone or tablet.

Central tendency indicators were used to analyze the most popular aspects present in video games among Romanian respondents. Along with the standard deviation, they were analyzed and presented in table 3.6.

indifferent, with high influences towards indifferent, and for the social aspect, the mean lies between indifferent and important, with a slight inclination towards indifferent. Following the standard deviation for these two aspects, we can see that for game popularity it is relatively lower than the rest of the aspects, which shows that the chosen values are closer to the average.

Table 3.7 shows the same aspects in terms of preferences, but they are for respondents of other nationalities. The same indicators of central tendency were used in this case as well.

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Action ocial As ect Difficult Ac ieve ments Creativit Plot stor Po ularit of t e game or t e com an t at created t e game Missing td Deviation

We can see that the two most important aspects are Achievements with an average of 4.28 and Plot and story with an average of 4.03. Thus, we can frame both aspects at the important level, accomplishments tending more towards very important than Plot and story. Analyzing standard deviation, we can see that for both the value is high, which shows that the responses are further away from the average. At the same time, the evaluation of the mode shows that for both aspects, Achievements and Plot and story, the most chosen answer was very important.

And here, at the opposite pole, are the same factors as in the frequency distribution found among Romanians, namely the Popularity of the game and the Social aspect. For foreign players, the popularity of the game is between the unimportant and indifferent levels, while the social aspect is slightly above the indifferent level. The standard deviation is lower for the game popularity

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Table 3.7 Frequency statistics for players of other nationalities
How often do you purchase video games or make transactions in real money games Romanian Ot er nationalit Not at all Very rarely Rarely Often Very often

purchase video games very rarely, rarely or not at all while most foreign players purchase games very rarely or not at all. However, a small number of players purchase games often.

There are several reasons that can validate these results. First of all, the video game industry and beyond has been dealing with the problem of piracy for a very long time. By piracy, players can play the video game without having to purchase it. (Cheng, Sims & Teegen, 1997) Although the use of pirated software contains various security and digital safety risks, websites that contain various pirated software and games have become increasingly popular, thus making users resort to piracy to the disadvantage of purchasing the actual game or software. The high price of a new video game is also a factor that leads to piracy of that game.

Another reason for the low frequency of video game purchases is the fact that there are many free-to-play games on the market. These do not need to be purchased and instead, they profit from micro-transactions, a model where players can buy various in-game coins or items in exchange for real money. In many cases, these micro-transactions are not necessary, thus users can enjoy the game without having to spend money. (Alha et al., 2014)

Analyzing the hypotheses proposed for the research, it can be seen that the fourth hypothesis (H4) is true, because over 50 % of Romanian respondents chose that they purchase video games or make transactions at all or very rarely. In the appendix of the paper, the histograms for the frequency of purchase of video games for both Romanians and foreign players are presented.

The histogram for Romanians is in annex 3, and the one for foreigners is in annex 4.

The average answer for Romanians is 2.13, which shows that the main choice of the majority of respondents is very rare. The value of the standard deviation is small at 0.869, so the responses are concentrated closer to the mean.

In the case of people of other nationalities, it can be observed that the average is relatively similar to that of Romanians, being 2.3. However, the standard deviation is a bit higher, having a value of 1.265 which shows that the responses are more dispersed than the average.

Two questions were used to analyze the monthly budget, one for determining the monthly budget dedicated to purchasing video games and a second question for the monthly budget dedicated to micro-transactions. A graph where the data are presented is in appendix 5 of the paper.

To the first question, the one related to the expenses for a game, the answers are both for Romanians as well as for players of other nationalities are dispersed throughout all categories. This is because the price for a game varies greatly depending on the game, manufacturer and distributor. Most triple AAA games (big budget games that are distributed by well-known publishers - Arm Glossary) are launched at a price of 60 euros. At the same time: many games produced and distributed by small manufacturers are released at a much lower price; practice it often used are price reductions, which occur regularly, thus creating a large price variation in industry. (Liu, 2010)

On the question related to micro-transactions, there is a big difference from the previous question. Most of the respondents, both Romanian and foreign, chose that they are willing to spend monthly under 5 euros when it comes to micro-transactions. There are several reasons for this choice.

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Micro-transactions aim to purchase various items or coins with the role of a improve users’ gaming experience. Thus, they can be bought anytime and as many times as the player needs. At the same time, in many cases, they are not necessary and the user can enjoy the game without resorting to micro-transactions. (

2018)

Closely related to micro-transactions are the so-called loot boxes, virtual objects which, when opened, they provide randomly chosen in-game items that can vary in rarity and value. These are very attractive to players because among the items that can be obtained are often also items that have a value much higher than their price. (Chen

Next, we can see from table 3.8 how the frequency statistic looks for both budget questions. These were divided and analyzed according to nationality.

Table 3.8 Budget-related frequency statistics for Romanians and players of other nationalities

In the case of Romanian players, for the question related to the availability of monthly payment for a game, the average is 2.76, with a standard deviation of 1.452. These numbers show that the average is located between 5-15 euros and 16-25 euros, with a large inclination towards the amount of 16-25 euros. However, the standard deviation shows that the responses are further away from the mean. At the same time, the value after calculating the mode shows that the most chosen answer is the first, namely under 5 euros. For players of other nationalities, it can be seen that the mean is 3.15 and the standard deviation is 1.359. We can thus deduce that, on average, a foreign player is willing to spend 16-25 euros on a game, but the standard deviation shows that here too the answers are further away from the average. However, here, the mode value shows that the most chosen answer is answer 5, namely over 35 euros.

For the question related to willingness to pay for micro-transactions, a decrease can be seen from the previous question. In the case of Romanian players, the average is between less than 5 euros and 5-15 euros, and the standard deviation shows that the answers are closer to the average. Analyzing the mode value for this question, in the case of Romanians, it can be seen that the most selected option is 1, which represents the option below 5 euros. For players of other nationalities, the average is located at the amount between 5-15 euros, however, a slightly higher standard deviation can be observed, which shows that the answers are dispersed and not close to the average. From the point of view of the mode value, it can be seen that the most selected option is the one under 5 euros.

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From these data, it can be seen that the fourth hypothesis (H4) is partially confirmed, because there are no differences between foreign players and Romanian players in terms of the type of device used, the personal computer being the main device chosen in both cases. However, the hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that there are differences when it comes to the budget allocated to the purchase of video games and micro-transactions.

For the analysis of the fifth objective, the graph from annex no. 6 was created. We can say that the COVID-19 pandemic was not a main reason for potential players to start using video games. The majority of Romanian and foreign players used to play video games even before the start of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. However, the extra time spent at home during the pandemic increased the time spent playing video games, and they have become an enjoyable way to help people stay connected with friends and acquaintances from a distance. (Şener, Türkan and Osman, 2021)

Thus, it can be seen that the fifth hypothesis (H5) is true, since many of the respondents were playing video games before the start of the pandemic and the restrictions caused by it. Also, a low percentage of gamers started using video games after the start of the pandemic, which proves that the COVID-19 pandemic had little influence on the decision to use games.

Next, correlations between various variables will be calculated for the Romanian respondents. To measure statistical significance between the proposed variables, the Chi-square test was used. Cohen’s scale was used to interpret the results and the influence between the variables. (Cohen, 1992)

The first correlation analyzed is the correlation between the frequency of watching video game activities with the frequency of video game purchases and video game transactions. The results of the Chi-square and Symmetric Measures tests are shown in Table 3.9.

The values of Asymp. Sig. They are less than 0.05, which means that the null hypothesis is rejected, so the relationship between the frequency of watching video game activities and the frequency of purchasing video games and making transactions in video games is significant. We can also see what the results of the Phi, Cramer’s V and Contingency Ratio tests are. The Approximate Significance value is less than 0.05, so the results can be used statistically.

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Table 3.9 Chi-square Tests and Symmetric Measures

By applying Cohen’s scale to the values, we can determine how strong the association between the variables is. All three tests have a result above 0.5, which means that there is a strong relationship between the two analyzed variables.

The Lambda test is presented in table 3.10. It has a value less than 0.05 in the column Approx. Sig., therefore, can be used statistically. However, we can infer from the results that the frequency of watching video game activities explains 12.7% of the frequency of video game purchases and video game transactions. This conclusion, although statistically valid, is of insignificant value to this research.

The second correlation analyzed is between the distribution of gamer types and the frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made. The results of the Chi-square and Symmetric Measures tests are presented in Table 3.11.

For this test, the Asymp. Sig. values are less than 0.05, indicating that the null hypothesis is rejected and there is a significant relationship between the distribution of gamer types and the frequency with which video games are purchased and traded.

Due to the value less than 0.05 of the column Approx. Sig, for Phi coefficients, Cramer’s V and Contingency Coefficient, the results can be used from a statistical point of view.

From the value of these coefficients, it can be seen that, in the case of the Phi and Contingency Coefficient tests, the influence that the distribution of player types has on the frequency with which video games are purchased and transactions are made is high. However, from the Cramer’s V test it can be seen that the influence is average.

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Table 3.10 Lambda test Table 3.11 Chi-square tests and Symmetric Measures

From table 3.12 you can see the result of the Lambda coefficient. Value Approx. Sig. is less than 0.05, which shows that this coefficient can be used from a statistical point of view.

Thus, the distribution of gamer types explains 23.8% of the frequency with which video games are purchased and transactions are made. At the same time, the frequency with which video games are purchased and transactions are made explains 35.7% of the result of the distribution of player types. This latter conclusion has significant research value and is statistically valid.

The next correlation is between the duration of video game use per session and the frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made. The results of this correlation are presented in table 3.13. The values in the column Asymp. Sig. are below 0.05, which shows that there is a significant relationship between the two variables and the null hypothesis is rejected. From the column Approx. Sig. it can be seen that the values of the coefficients Phi, Cramer’s V and Contingency Coefficient can be used statistically.

Analyzing the Phi and Contingency Coefficient values on Cohen’s scale, it can be seen that the duration of video game use per session has an average influence on the frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made. However, the Cramer’s V coefficient shows that the connection between the variables is low.

In the appendix of the paper with number 7, the result of the Lambda coefficient for this correlation is presented. The values Approx. Sig. are greater than 0.05, which means that these variables are not correlated.

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Table 3.12 Lambda Test Table 3.13 Chi-square tests and Symmetric Measures

Next, the results of the correlation between occupation and the frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made will be presented. The results are presented in appendix number 8 of the paper. In the case of this correlation, the values of Asymp. Sig. are above 0.05 which shows that the null hypothesis is accepted, there is no significant relationship between occupation and the frequency with which video games are purchased and video game transactions are made. Also, in the case of the analyzed coefficients, it can be observed that Approx. Sig. also has a value above 0.5, which shows that the results cannot be used statistically.

The next correlations analyzed are between video game usage time per session with video game purchase budget and monthly microtransaction budget.

The correlation between the duration of video game use per session and the budget allocated to the purchase of video games is presented in Table 3.14. The values of Asymp. Sig. are less than 0.05, which shows that the null hypothesis is rejected, and there is a significant relationship between the two variables.

It can also be seen that the values for Approx. Sig. are below 0.05, thus, they can be used from a statistical point of view. The values of the Phi coefficient and the Contingency coefficient are both between 0.3 and 0.5, thus, it can be seen that the duration of video game usage per session has an average influence on the budget allocated to the purchase of video games. At the same time, the Cramer’s V coefficient shows that this influence is low.

In appendix number 9 of the paper, the result of the Lambda coefficient for the correlation between the duration of using video games per session and the budget for the purchase of video games is presented. The values Approx. Sig. for Lambda are greater than 0.05, indicating that these results cannot be used statistically.

The correlation between the duration of using video games per session and the monthly budget allocated for micro-transactions is presented in appendix number 10. For Pearson coefficients Chi-square and Likelihood Ratio, the results in the column Asymp. Sig. are greater than 0.05, which shows that the null hypothesis is accepted and there is no significant relationship between the two variables. Also, the coefficients Phi, Cramer’s V and Contingency coefficient cannot be

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Table 3.14 Chi-square tests and Symmetric Measures

used from a statistical point of view because the value of Approx. Sig. for each coefficient is greater than 0.05.

References

Adams, E., 2013. Fundamentals of Game Design, New Riders, 3rd edition, December 17, 2013.

Alha, K., Koskinen, E., Paavilainen, J., Hamari, J., & Kinnunen, J., 2014. Free-to-Play games: Professionals’ perspective. Proceedings of DiGRA Nordic 2014.

Cheng, H. K., Sims, R. R., & Teegen, H., 1997. To purchase or to pirate software: An empirical study. Journal of management information systems, 13(4), 49-60.

Chen, N., Elmachtoub, A. N., Hamilton, M. L., & Lei, X., 2021. Loot box pricing and design. Management Science, 67(8), 4809-4825.

Cohen, J., 1992. A Power Primer. In: Psychological Bulletin, 1992. Vol. 112, issue 1, pp. 155–159. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155.

Hinton, P., McMurray, I., & Brownlow, C., 2014. SPSS explained. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315797298.

Ivanov, M., Wittenzellner, H., Wardaszko, M., 2021. Video game monetization mechanisms in triple A (AAA) video games. Simulation Gaming Through Times and Disciplines, pp. 389-404. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-72132-9_33.

Liu, H., 2010. Dynamics of pricing in the video game console market: skimming or penetration? Journal of marketing research, 47(3), 428-443.

Stebbins, R. A., 2001. Exploratory research in the social sciences (Vol. 48). Sage. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412984249.

Şener, Deniz and Yalçın, Türkan and Gulseven, Osman, 2021. The Impact of COVID-19 on the Video Game Industry (January 14, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3766147 or at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3766147.

Tomić, N. Z., 2018. Economic model of microtransactions in video games. J. Econ. Sci. Res. Vol, 1(01).

Yee, N., 2016. The gamer motivation profile: What we learned from 250,000 gamers. Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Pl, 2-2. https://doi.org/10.1145/2967934.2967937.

Yee, N., 2006. Motivations for play in online games. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2006 Dec;9(6):772-5. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2006.9.772.

Zichermann, G., Cunningham, C., 2011. Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps, O'Reilly Media, 1st edition, August 22, 2011.

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Empowered by Cooperation, Multidimensional Management, and Silk Road Meets EuroShop

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier

http://www.european Committee, and distinguished Committee Magazine”, and to our attention other great events happening in the last time, and allowed us to present them. It is also worth recalling that: immediately after visiting Romania for the first time on the occasion of the 24th International Congress of the International Association for the Distributive Trade (AIDA Brussels), Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier sent us, in May 1998, a memorable letter we have referred initially in the Journal of the Romanian Marketing Association (AROMAR), no. 5/1998, and also later, in 2010, in the first issue of the Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine; the Romanian-American University (RAU) has awarded Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a “Diploma of Special Academic Merit”; the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, has awarded Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a “Diploma of Excellence”

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Empowered by Cooperation

In December 2022, in Romania, the Rector of the Romanian-American University (RAU), Professor Costel Negricea, and the Rector of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA), Professor Remus Pricopie, concluded a long-term cooperation between the two institutions based on the principles of university autonomy.

The President of the European Retail Academy, Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier welcomes this initiative: “The last two years with so many disruptions teach us to check our business-modelsthis has to be true also for the University Sector. To offer me-too-lectures or -research is a waste of time and money. To share knowledge by joint digital platforms, by Microsoft- or Zoom Workshops or Conferences, by sharing digital magazines to publish research results to empower the citation ranking of the university by the multiplication of clicks is the future” Prof. Hallier summarized the potential of this new cooperation. “For many years Professor Theodor Purcarea from RAU is pioneer of digital publication by the magazine Holistic Marketing Management: we watch very closely the positive effects of this for Central Europe and beyond this scope” Prof. Hallier added.

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Multidimensional Management

The Czestochowa University of Technology, Poland, together with its partners invite for the 1st International Scientific Conference entitled “Multidimensional Management in the 21st Century”. The Scientific Committee has a scope of 32 professors from 10 countries; Germany is represented by the ERA-President Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier

“The aim of the Conference is to present scientific achievements of students/doctoral students/young scientists and to exchange views of representatives of science and practitioners” Prof. Hallier said, underlining also the importance of “creating by this dialogue new cooperation networks for Applied Sciences”. Additionally, it is a chance to be visible internationally by the Conference Abstracts and partner publications.

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Silk Road meets EuroShop

David Zhang from Beijing/China remembers in an interview with retail4.education how he started his visits with retail experts to Germany and EuroShop: “We first met in Köln in May 2002; Prof. Dr. Hallier took the group of Chinese retailers to see many retail stores in the Koln area, including Aldi, Lidl, Ekeka, Rewe, Real etc.; then Hallier did send me also to the International HQ of SPAR as he was of the opinion that first of all we should prepare a wholesale-system as a backstage for modern retail in China. He was also the first international expert who told Chinese retailers about discount retailing, private labels, and food safety issues, along with many other interesting topics. That was the starting point of Chinese retailers' international experiences. In 2019 we were very happy to host Prof. Hallier and his wife to visit on a 5-weeks-tour all through China with many of those companies who partly already had been as the second generation of those Europe tours and who are now Chinese retail entrepreneurs” (see also) Link ChinaYouTube

David Zhang compares the situation of China in 2002 and the present level of retail companies in Kazakhstan, Kyrgistan and Uzbekistan which nowadays have also to cluster their competences and power to survive within the increasing competition: “A visit of a group of retailers for EuroShop and Store checks should be under the motto Exploring how to learn from Retail in Western Europe for Eurasia: what had been the roots of success? What is common and what is different in food and non-food? What are the risks of internationalization? How can the Retail Knowledge be institutionalized by a Eurasian Retail School?” (see also: YouTube EuroShop EuroShop/EuroCIS)

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E-Commerce, Marketing Technology Stake, and Improved DCX Drd. Ioan Matei PURCĂREA

Abstract

Now it’s the real time to unify users’ profile data across all systems in order to ensure the best DCX. There is no doubt about today’s massive shift from the use of third-party data to first-party data, in order to improve personalization with the help of the consent-based data collection, and make the difference between sales and marketing in e-commerce smaller. It is more and more obvious marketers’ interest for technology trends including the generative AI changing how marketing works, and scaling marketing for additional growth, expressing the essential features of the value it offers. We are witnessing the expansion of the marketing technology stake and of marketers’ efforts to make the difference thanks to the digital orchestration of the ecosystem, ensuring the big picture. Within the context of the acceleration of ecommerce growth, of the technological innovation, it is important to consider the relation between shaping the future of marketing technology and the digitally driven commerce, putting the customer first. To change e-commerce by a process of evolution companies need to consider key trends, identify and implement strategic priorities, so as to become absolutely necessary to customers.

Keywords: E-commerce, DCX, First-party data, Marketing technology stake, NeXT Commerce

JEL Classification: D83; L81; L86; M15; M31; O32; O33

Unifying users’ rofile data across all s stems in order to ensure t e best DCX. The toda ’s massive s ift from t e use of t ird-party data to first-party data, improving personalization with the help of the consent-based data collection, and making the difference between sales and marketing in e-commerce smaller

It is now very important under the current difficult conditions to go beyond the general understanding of an e-commerce business, so as to offer customers the most pertinent customer experience (CX), by designing, building, maintaining and improving the omnichannel presence accordingly. This also presupposes to assemble the dispersed customer data available across often siloed systems like websites, in-store point of sale systems, email marketing tools, call

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center software, commerce platforms etc. (Buytaert, 2023). According to the reputed OpenSource advocate and technology executive Dries Buytaert (Founder and Project Lead of Drupal, widely used Open Source project; Cofounder and CTO of Acquia, a pioneer in promoting Open Source software and cloud technology):

- It is necessary to unify users’ profile data across all systems in order to ensure the best digital CX (DCX), this kind of both personalized, and orchestrated DCX being delivered (on the basis of reusable content and digital assets) not only fast and in a stable manner, but also consistently good in performance. Acquia’s Open Digital Experience Platform (see figure below) is seen as being helpful for those businesses trying to be digital winners;

- The Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools (such as ChatGPT, for text creation, and DALL·E 2, for image creation) represent the no. 1 trend to watch, the generative AI (generating novel content) transforming the way of working, researching etc.

Source: Buytaert, D., 2023. Acquia retrospective 2022, Dries Buytaert: On digital experiences, Open Source, Open Web, January 10, 2023 (Work cited)

Let’s remember that Buytaert proposed a solution in the form of Composable Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) described in his (in October last year launched) Composable Digital Experience Manifesto (Buytaert, D., 2022) outlining the essential principles for a DXP to be considered composable, based on this Composable DXPs organizations being able to adapt to shifting business needs by rapidly assembling solutions from pre-existing building blocks (see figure below), often using low-code / no-code tooling (interfaces) to speed up experience building. In the above-mentioned manifesto Buytaert explained how the ideas of the Composable Enterprise (as defined by Gartner) was applied by him to the DXP market.

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Figure no. 1: Acquia’s Open Digital Experience Platform

Source: Buytaert, D., 2023. Acquia retrospective 2022, Dries Buytaert: On digital experiences, Open Source, Open Web, January 10, 2023 (Work cited)

Speaking about customer data coming from various sources (see figure below), it is useful to remember that Twilio Segment (2023) highlighted that:

Source: Twilio Segment, 2023. The Fundamentals of First-Party Data, p. 4 (Work cited)

- The today’s massive shift from the use of third-party data (as customer data source for marketing and advertising, data aggregators collecting end-user data through cookies and browser behavior; considered for a period of twenty years as the backbone of e-commerce and online advertising), which erodes customer trust, to first-party data (provided directly by end users, and considered more accurate and relevant), which can be used to personalize CX, consent-based data collection being key;

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Figure no. 2: Four fundamental blocks to creating and delivering exceptional DCX Figure no. 3: Customer Data Sources

Source: Twilio Segment, 2023. The Fundamentals of First-Party Data, p. 13 (Work cited)

- These first-party data are collected through different methods (like questionnaires and surveys, membership and loyalty programs with benefits for providing data, content marketing engagement, social media interactions, customer service and support interactions, mobile app use), customers knowing how the trusted companies (see the figure above) are using the right information collected; Customer Data Platform (CDP) is considered the main tool for streamlining both the collection, and management (see in figure below how a customer data platform works) of these first-party data

Source: Twilio

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Figure no. 4: The Competitive Edge of First-Party Data Figure no. 5: How a Customer Data Platform works Segment, 2023. The Fundamentals of First-Party Data, p. 15 (Work cited)

It is also interesting to note that a Pacvue’s newsletter from January 2023 launched the invitation with regard to a discussion (on February 16th 2023) on how to make the difference between sales and marketing in e-commerce smaller, so as to drive market share and revenue growth, taking into account the current conditions (characterized by both increased economic uncertainty, and limited consumer spending). Within this framework it was underlined the need of a business model based on unified data, breaking down data silos, and even valorizing first mover advantage based on these unified data.

Marketers’ interest for technology trends including the generative AI changing how marketing works, and scaling marketing for additional growth, expressing the essential features of the value it offers. The expansion of the marketing technology stake and making the difference thanks to the digital orchestration of the ecosystem, ensuring the big picture

Coming back to the generative AI it is worth mentioning that as shown by CB Insights (Sanwal, 2023): it would be as big as the iPhone (according to a recent poll, as shown in the first figure below); with regard to the focus areas for its investment, the next figure below shows a significant distribution of the funding in the last two years, both in text generation, and visual media generation. While regarding the consumer application ChatGPT (from OpenAI), Reuters recently revealed that a UBS study presented an estimation for this January of 100 million monthly active users of ChatGPT (two months after its launch, in November 2021), meaning a true world record (Hu, 2023).

Source:

February 1, 2023 (Work cited)

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Figure no. 6: Poll: Generative AI is a technological advance that will be as big as… Sanwal, A., 2023. AI gold rush, CB Insights, AI goggles, CB Information Services,

Source: Sanwal, A., 2023. AI gold rush, CB Insights, AI goggles, CB Information Services, February 1, 2023 (Work cited)

On the occasion of a recent webinar the analyst Yory Wurmser (Schilling, B., 2023) underlined: people’s real interest in how and what the new technologies can do for them, including among marketers’ interest for technology trends the generative AI that will transform creative (together with: connected devices making it easier for consumers to purchase, more interoperable clean rooms, loyalty to benefits programs provided by web3, and gaming as the training ground for marketers based on metaverse); how it was recorded a lot of informal talk about AI (from Dall-E to ChatGPT) and its impact on marketing.

In December last year, the reputed Scott Brinker (a, 2022) and Frans Riemersma analyzed the marketing technology landscape, highlighted the expected major trends for 2023 (generative AI & personalization, activating cloud data warehouses, ecosystems & communities, no-code in-house creators, web3 & metaverse), and in order to do the right thing about the challenging landscape (characterized by atomization and aggregation of marketing technology trends) they recommended to take into account a special framework harmonizing technology, data and content (as shown in the first figure below), and allowing including to scale marketing for additional growth, expressing the essential features of the value it offers. Within this context they briefly talked about the impact of generative AI on marketing and marketing technology, as

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Figure no. 7: Where is all the money going in generative AI?

shown in the next figure below, explaining how will generative AI change how marketing works (Brinker, 2023).

Source: Brinker, S., 2022. A whirlwind tour of the new martech map, major martech trends for 2023, and how to manage it all in the year ahead, Chief Martec, December 2022 (Work cited)

Source: Brinker, S., 2023. 2023 will be a chaotic year for martech, yet the start of a massive wave of growth, Chief Martec, January 2023 (Work cited)

It is important to note the interesting prediction made by Brinker within the abovementioned January 2023 context with regard to the expansion of the marketing technology industry (needing imperatively a reorientation to profitability based on a significant differentiation) and profession on the basis of the current start of a massive wave of growth in marketing technology (see the first figure below). In his opinion, in facing the descendent business cycle it is imperative to adapt to the technology landscape enduring the identified

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Figure no. 8: Atomization + Aggregation Martech Trends Figure no. 9: How will generative AI change how marketing works?

multiple seismic shifts, such as: the plateauing of the major technology S-curves (SaaS, social media, and mobile) representing the way things are now; the beginning of the new major technology S-curves (AI, AR/VR, Composability, and Web3). Of course, without neglecting what the same reputed expert (Brinker b, 2022) underlined in November last year concerning the fact that in approaching the technology stake expansion the marketing’s “system test” is orchestration (orchestration > integration > consolidation) of the system as a whole, so as to make the difference (see the next figure below).

Source: Brinker, S., 2023. 2023 will be a chaotic year for martech, yet the start of a massive wave of growth, Chief Martec, January 2023 (Work cited)

Source: Brinker, S., 2022. Tech stacks are still large, but orchestration can make all the difference, Chief Martec, November 2022 (Work cited)

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Figure no. 10: The next 7 years of expansion in the martech industry and profession will dwarf the past 7 years Figure no. 11: Tech stack expansion

Acceleration of e-commerce growth, technological innovation, and the relation between shaping the future of marketing technology and the digitally driven commerce, putting the customer first

Coming back to the always challenging harmony between sales and marketing, it is useful to remember how last year the prestigious BCG (2022) brought to our attention significant aspects, such as: the acceleration of e-commerce growth, the shifting role of traditional sales channels (toward convenience, entertainment, immersion, and personal touch), the exponential change fueled by the technological innovation (AI, AR/VR, the metaverse, NFTs, crypto – see figure below). And among the implications for leaders of the new trends they included the need of combining the proper capabilities with regard to: sales, marketing, customer service, so as to enable the change (both personalizing customer journeys, and reinvent sales channels), enabling integration; data and technology across sales, marketing, and customer service teams, so as to ensure a single customer view.

Source: BCG, 2022. The Future of Sales and Marketing Is Here. [pdf] Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis and case experience, February 2022, p. 8 (Work cited)

As shown by Nathan (2022), the future of marketing technology is shaped not only by skills shortages and cross-functional challenges (like considering: the divergence between marketing technology and advertising technology; the need of establishing a clear digital vision by both CMOs and CIOs, delivering the best possible CX), but also by the upcoming cookie less world (involving the implementation of the right marketing technology stack necessary to support the first-party data strategy, so as to deliver personalized CX based on the right action in real-time on customer data). In our last HMM issue (Purcarea, 2022), in which we approached ecommerce development, we made reference to significant aspects, such as: how the functionality of an e-commerce solution is determined by the technology stack (SCAND a, 2022), while data

Holistic Marketing Management 38
Figure no. 12: Tech stack expansion

activation is also depending on the right technology stack (Den Boer, 2022); key differences (Litcommerce, 2022) between selling on online marketplaces (like Amazon, eBay, Etsi, Walmart) and e-commerce platforms (like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce etc.); a recent evaluation, made by an e-commerce and marketing expert (Smith, 2022), of the best e-commerce platforms of 2023 (Shift4Shop, Square, BigCommerce, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, GoDaddy, WP Engine, Zyro, Bluehost etc.); how the strategic priorities of Shopify, considered an e-commerce infrastructure leader (CB Insights a, 2022), are also including marketing and personalization tools, new sales channels and shipping and fulfillment enablement; how the strategic priorities of the online marketplace (from site) eBay are including authentication services, category specialist marketplaces, payment and financing, and also shipment and fulfillment enablement (CB Insights b, 2022); the importance of ensuring a frictionless shopping (Pivotree, 2022; McKenzie, 2018; Medium, 2016), and of creating individually tailored services based on detailed analysis of customer behavior (SCAND b, 2022); the decisive role of digitally driven commerce and of meeting customers’ ever-rising expectations by orchestrating experiences, putting the customer first, and profitability being placed as a core capability, all of these being seen by McKinsey’s E-commerce Global Initiative as the next horizon of value NeXT commerce (Arora et al., 2022); the fine linkage between a customer-first mindset and the purpose-driven thinking (Walters, 2022).

Instead of conclusions: To change e-commerce by a process of evolution companies need to consider key trends, identify and implement strategic priorities, so as to become absolutely necessary to customers

CB Insights (2023) recently analyzed Amazon’s strategic priorities in retail, identifying (based on data mining from acquisitions, investments, and partnerships) four important priorities: metaverse and Web3 shopping; omnichannel enablement; online grocery; supply chain, fulfillment, & logistics; zero-emission delivery. Within this framework, it was shown that the ecommerce giant strengthened its commitment to this course of action in digital retail and supply chain following its net sales, in the third quarter of 2022, made up by its physical stores (just 3.7%).

Let’s recall that we have learned from the above-mentioned Arora et al. (pp. 3-4) that to change e-commerce by a process of evolution companies need to consider key trends (such as: accelerating e-commerce, fast-changing customer behaviors, very high customer expectations, less indulgent of capital market expectations, massive advances in technology and data, competitive pressures), becoming absolutely necessary to customers, understanding that the future of business is represented by the digitally driven commerce, and making on this basis a choice decision toward the NeXT commerce.

References

Arora, A., Longo, R., Plotkin, C.L., Sivaeva, T. and Wang, K.W., 2022. Becoming indispensable: Moving past e-commerce to NeXT commerce. [pdf] McKinsey’s E-commerce Global Initiative, NeXT Commerce, November 2022, pp. 1-7, 10. Available at <becoming-indispensable-moving-past-e-commerce-to-next-commerce> [Accessed 18 November 2022].

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BCG, 2022. The Future of Sales and Marketing Is Here. [pdf] Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis and case experience, February 2022, pp. 3, 8, 12, 19. Available at: <BCG-Executive-Perspectives-2022-Future-of-Marketing-and-Sales> [4 February 2023].

Brinker, S., 2022. A whirlwind tour of the new martech map, major martech trends for 2023, and how to manage it all in the year ahead, Chief Martec, December 2022. [online] Available at: <https://chiefmartec.com/2022/12/a-whirlwind-tour-of-the-newmartech-map-major-martech-trends-for-2023-and-how-to-manage-it-all-in-the-year-ahead/> [Accessed 4 February 2023].

Brinker, S., 2023. 2023 will be a chaotic year for martech, yet the start of a massive wave of growth, Chief Martec, January 2023. [online] Available at: <https://chiefmartec.com/2023/01/2023-will-be-a-chaotic-year-for-martech-yet-the-start-of-a-massivewave-of-growth/> [Accessed 4 February 2023].

Brinker, S., 2022. Tech stacks are still large, but orchestration can make all the difference, Chief Martec, November 2022. [online] Available at: <https://chiefmartec.com/2022/11/tech-stacks-are-still-large-but-orchestration-can-make-all-thedifference/> [Accessed 4 February 2023].

Buytaert, D., 2023. Acquia retrospective 2022, Dries Buytaert: On digital experiences, Open Source, Open Web, January 10, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://dri.es/acquia-retrospective-2022?> [Accessed 26 January 2023].

Buytaert, D., 2022. A Composable Digital Experience Manifesto, October 6, 2022. Available at: <https://dri.es/a-composabledigital-experience-manifesto> [Accessed 29 January 2023].

CB Insights a, 2022. Analyzing Shopify’s growth strategy: How the e-commerce platform is expanding its merchants’ reach and speeding up delivery, Research, November 10, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.cbinsights.com/research/shopifystrategy-map-investments-partnerships-acquisitions/?> [Accessed 20 November 2022].

CB Insights b, 2022. Analyzing eBay’s growth strategy: How the company is prioritizing category specialization & luxury authentication, Research, December 6, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.cbinsights.com/research/ebay-strategy-mapacquisitions-partnerships/?> [Accessed 15 December 2022].

CB Insights, 2023. Amazon’s bet on physical stores hasn’t paid off. What’s the tech giant’s next move in retail Research, January 30, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.cbinsights.com/research/amazon-retail-strategy-map-investmentspartnerships-acquisitions/?> [Accessed 5 February 2023].

Den Boer, S., 2022. How Grocery Businesses Can Grow Revenue Through E-Commerce Personalization, Bloomreach, Aug 01, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.bloomreach.com/en/blog/2022/how-grocery-businesses-can-grow-revenue-through-ecommerce-personalization?> [Accessed 31 October 2022].

Hu, C., 2023. ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base - analyst note, Reuters, Reporting by Krystal Hu in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bradley Perrett, February 2, 2023. [online] Available at: <https://www.reuters.com/technology/chatgpt-sets-record-fastest-growing-user-base-analyst-note-2023-02-01/?> [Accessed 3 February 2022].

Litcommerce, 2022. Marketplace vs eCommerce Platform [2022] – Which One is Better? Oct 2022. [online] Available at: <https://litcommerce.com/blog/ecommerce-vs-online-marketplace/> [Accessed 4 November 2022].

McKenzie, S., 2018. Frictionless shopping 2.0: How its definition has evolved and what it means for brands, Retail Customer Experience, Dec. 27, 2018. [online] Available at: <https://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/blogs/frictionless-shopping-20how-its-definition-has-evolved-and-what-it-means-for-brands-2/> [Accessed 15 December 2022].

Medium, 2016. Frictionless Commerce, Commerce Factor, May 23, 2016. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/commerce-factor/frictionless-commerce-> [Accessed 15 December 2022].

Nathan, E., 2022. Trends Shaping Martech Strategy in 2023, CMSWire, December 15, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/trends-shaping-martech-strategy-in-2023/> [Accessed 4 February 2023].

Pacvue, 2023. Thought Box: Bridging the Gap Between Sales & Marketing in eCommerce, 2023 Retail Media Performance Report, and more! Newsletter, Pacvue <marketing@pacvue.com> January 3, 2023.

Pivotree a, 2022. Commerce. Frictionless. [online] Available at: <https://www.pivotree.com/frictionless-commerce/> [Accessed 28 September 2022].

Purcarea, I.M., 2022. E-Commerce Development and Entering the Path to NeXT Commerce, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 12(4), pp. 40-53, December.

Sanwal, A., 2023. AI gold rush, CB Insights, AI goggles, CB Information Services, February 1, 2023 (e-mail received on February 2, 2023, 01:33).

SCAND a, 2022. What Technology Stack is Used for E-Commerce Projects? August 11, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://scand.com/company/blog/what-technology-stack-is-used-for-e-commerce-projects/> [Accessed 12 December 2022].

SCAND b, 2022. What Is the Internet of Behavior and Why Is It the Future? November 24, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://scand.com/company/blog/internet-of-behaviors/> [Accessed 12 December 2022].

Schilling, B., 2023. 5 tech trends for marketers to watch in 2023, Insider Intelligence, Jan 31, 2023. Available at: <https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/5-tech-trends-marketers-watch-2023?> [Accessed 1 February 2023].

Smith, A.N., 2022. The Best E-Commerce Platforms of 2023, Digital.com, Updated November 17, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://digital.com/best-ecommerce-platforms/> [Accessed 13 December 2022].

Twilio Segment, 2023. The Fundamentals of First-Party Data, pp.1-19. Available at: <TS-Content-Ebook-TheFundamentalsFirstPartyData> [Accessed 29 December 2022].

Walters, J., 2022. What customer first really means, Zendesk, Published December 6, 2021, Last updated March 13, 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.zendesk.com/blog/customer-first/> [Accessed 16 December 2022].]

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‘Marketing Science and Inspirations’: Cross-cultural analytics, Sustainable marketing, Eco-friendly services, and Conversion rate optimization

Associate Editor of t e “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal Member of the scientific association Romanian Distribution Committee

JEL Classification: Y30

The “Marketing Science and Inspirations” Journal is always confirming its valued vocation of giving its savvy, affluent and implied readers a holistic perspective on modern marketing issues. This well-known brand of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, is continuing to generate awareness and to build lasting connections with its target audience, improving customer experience by identifying new ways to overcome marketing challenges. That is why we are witnessing our partners’ hard and smart work to provide to both current and new readers truly relevant and useful content on current business situations and key challenges faced by agile marketers, making marketing perspective happen.

We were happy to receive by post the new Issue 3, Volume XVII, 2022, of our Partner Journal “Marketing Science and Inspirations” , Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia The new challenging issue of this valuable academic journal (addressing to academics and practitioners) covered, as usual, a wide range of interesting topics in the marketing research field, such as:

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• “Trade in transformation: The example of the textile business as an innovator of urban life-style ” The author Bernd Hallier highlighted the role of textile business as an exemplary case for the permanent transformations of the consumers’ life-style (consumers’ demand being empowered by the potential interconnectivity with the internet and smartphones), one hand, and for the efficiency improvement of the textile traders (thanks to the electronic control of the whole supply chain), on the other hand.

• “Managerial performance in the conditions of selected local government offices ” The authors Michal Lukáč and Ján Ganobčík approached the topic of managerial performance and its management as beneficial for employee development, and focused on the interaction between performance management and administrative authority, in order to streamline the managerial performance of different offices by deriving propositions and proposing measures accordingly. They identified, among the primary areas where change is needed, ambiguity in the strategy and plan, as well as delayed feedback processes and limited behavioral incentives.

• “Analysis of attitudes to the principles of social responsibility and their application in the practice.” The author Pavol Križo analyzed the principles of social responsibility from the point of view of attitudes towards these principles and their application, identifying differences, and grouping organizations into several groups with regard to the identified differences, categorizing these groups (as pragmatically responsible, truly responsible, manifestly irresponsible, and false responsible) on the basis of reviewing the assessment of both the importance, and application of the principles of social responsibility. They made specific recommendations (that applied mainly to those companies whose level of identification with the above-mentioned principles is high and in line with their internal convictions, without excluding other situations).

• “A thematic and sentiment analysis of the relationship between religion and purchase behavior.” The author Alexandru Bosînceanu focused on the analysis of the purchase behavior of an air purifier for religious and nonreligious consumers, taking into account the urgent need for better understanding the relationship between consumer behavior and religion. He identified important themes (based on thematic and sentiment analysis), also revealing subtle nuances.

• “Building-as-a-Service: The opportunities of service-dominant logic for construction.” The authors Adrian August Wildenauer and Josef Basl focused on what Service-Dominant Logic (SDL) in combination with Building Information Modelling (BIM) could offer to the industry and discusses the term Building-as-a-Service (BaaS) from an SDL perspective. They revealed the opportunities existent if buildings are not considered as amalgamation of materials and goods but as a service model.

This new issue of the “Marketing cience and Ins irations” Journal also included other sections such as:

▪ “Marketing Briefs”: Pavel Štrach –“Promotional items: Lasting memory of right and wrong”;

▪ “SHORT COMMUNICATIONS”: “FLEMA Media Awards 2022”; “An announcement of the 10. year of the Young Dolphin contest”; “An announcement of the most effective advertisement EFFIE Awards contest”.

▪ “REVIEW”, Ladislav Mura, “Hanuláková, Eva et al.: Marketing. Tools, strategies, people and trends.”

▪ “DICTIONARY OF USEFUL MARKETING TERMS”, Dagmar Weberová

It is well-known that on the occasion of celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Romanian-American University (RAU), “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal (HMM) was awarding an HMM Diploma of Special Merit to Professor Peter Štarc oň, for outstanding contribution in the field of Holistic Marketing and Talent Management. And we always remember with pleasure that the Editor-in-C ief of t e “Marketing cience and Ins irations” Journal – Professor Peter Štarc oň, Facult of Management, Comenius Universit in Bratislava, Slovakia – is also a Member of the Editorial Board of both the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal, and of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”.

It is also our honor and pleasure to remember both the significant meeting in Koln, Germany, in 2011, on the occasion of the working meeting of the European Retail Academy (ERA).

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● Ioan-Matei PURCĂREA – Measuring the Impact of E-Commerce on the Economy

Note from the HMM Editorial Board

The distinguished Professor Gheorghe Zaman, the late Director of the Institute of National Economy (IEN, the oldest public settlement of economic research in Romania), recommended a research paper entitled "E-Commerce Contribution In Sustainable Development: Towards A New Era Of Safe And More Sustainable Products” (presented in February 2021 at IEN, Romanian Academy, National Institute for Economic Research

“Costin C. Kiriţescu”, by a PhD student at IEN) for publication in the Holistic Marketing Management Journal. He also suggested that:

● The next research paper, entitled “The Effects of Industry 4.0 on e-commerce” (presented in November 2021 at IEN), to be published in the Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine;

● Considerations regarding the research paper entitled “The Effects of Industry 4.0 on ecommerce” (these considerations were presented on December 3, 2021 at IEN) to be published in the Holistic Marketing Management Journal;

● The next research papers, entitled “The Digital Transformation and e-commerce” (presented in June 2022 at IEN) and “Measuring the Impact of E-Commerce on the Economy” (presented in February 2023 at IEN) to be published in the Holistic Marketing Management Journal.

Measuring the Impact of E-Commerce on the Economy

Ioan-Matei PURCĂREA

Abstract

There are two imperatives for e-commerce SMEs. First of all, to be aware of the importance of open innovation, reinventing oneself and participating in this innovation process located at the confluence between MMM e-commerce delivery model and the metaverse, emphasizing on immersion and integration in reality. Secondly, to increase, on this basis, its impact on the country's economy, ecommerce being an engine of the economic growth, inclusive trade and job creation, creating substantial economic value for both consumers and businesses and society at large across a range of dimensions, ensuring economic resilience, thereby making direct and indirect contributions to the good progress of the national economy.

Keywords: E-Commerce; Impact on the Economy; Open innovation; Marketplace Maturity Model; Metaverse-driven e-commerce

JEL Classification: D83; L81; L86; M15; M31; O32; O33

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Introducere

Măsurarea impactului e-commerce în economie

Ioan-Matei PURCĂREA

CUPRINS

Capitolul 1 Ancorarea mai fermă a e-commerce în economie şi societate. Sectorul comerțului digital a devenit indispensabil și foarte rezistent

Capitolul 2 Comerţul electronic, unul dintre indicatorii care ilustrează dimensiuni cheie ale societății informaționale europene

Capitolul 3 Comerțul electronic, motor al creșterii economice, al comerțului incluziv și al creării de locuri de muncă. Impactul macroeconomic al e-commerce pe piața unică digitală a Uniunii Europene. Efectul general pozitiv al e-commerce asupra economiei din perspectiva bunăstării sociale

Capitolul 4 Contribuţii directe şi indirecte ale comerţului electronic la mersul economiei. Schimbarea către digital şi tendințele preconizate a domina comerțul electronic în următorii ani. Analiza pieței de comerţ electronic din România în contextul UE-27

Capitolul 5 Politici UE şi interne cu impact asupra comerțului electronic din România. Schimbări în comportamentul de consum. Tendinţe specifice pe piata comerţului electronic de la noi

Capitolul 6 Piața de comerț electronic globală si piaţa comerţului electronic din România. Unele estimări comparabile

Capitolul 7 Provocări pentru comerţul electronic din România începând cu anul 2022. Factori determinanţi ai creşterii pieţei comerţului electronic şi aşteptări privind perioada 2022-2027. Evoluţii privind efectuarea plăților online

Concluzii: La confluenţa dintre modelul pieței online ca viitor al comerţului electronic şi comerţul electronic ca motor dominant al economiei metaversului

Referinţe bibliografice

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