EDA University Center for
Regional Economic Innovation
Integration of Online Market Place and Main Street in Michigan Communities: Drivers, Impacts, and Policy Implications (2019)
Co-Learning Plan - 2019
Author: Peilei Fan, MSU Urban Planning
Against the reshuffled retailing landscape and the decline of traditional retailers, a hybrid strategy of combining online market place with main street, or dubbed as “click-and-mortar” electronic commerce, has gained increasing traction as a local proactive strategy due to benefits of cost-savings, improved differentiation, enhanced trust, and market extension (Steinfield et al, 2002). This proposal is to examine how online market place and main street can be best synergized for Michigan communities. The research questions are: (1) How have local business integrated e-commerce and reaped benefits of such integration? How have the built environment been transformed, either through a change in function for main street stores or the growth of fulfillment centers and logistics operations? (2) What are the key drivers and barriers that have affected the realizations of these benefits? What strategies may increase the integration? (3)What are the implications of exogenous factors, such as globalization, trade regime change, and tax regulations? A composite index to assess effective click-and-mortar integration will be developed based on the literature on the integration of click-and-mortar e-commerce, major benefits and pitfalls, strategies and best practices, and exogenous factors. Secondary data on click-and-mortar e-commerce of Michigan local business and communities at the county level or other local level will be collected and analyzed. Survey and interviews of local business and community will be conducted to identify drivers and barriers and strategies of the integration of on-line and physical structure of the business. A Co-Learning Plan and presentation materials (for REI) will be developed based on these research efforts.