“E-commerce and Sustainable Competitiveness: JTH and Science Park in Jönköping Forge Future Business Opportunities”
E-commerce has become the fastest-growing sales channel in retailing, and in Jönköping, a new project is set to strengthen e-commerce expertise, with a specific focus on the manufacturing industry in Jönköping County. The School of Engineering (JTH) at Jönköping University and Jönköping Science Park have jointly been granted twelve million Swedish kronor from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Region Jönköping County for the M2C E-commerce project. The project aims to increase knowledge and expertise in sustainable competitiveness within e-commerce.
The M2C E-commerce project has several goals, including the development of a knowledge center with expertise in e-commerce and e-commerce logistics at JTH. Additionally, the ambition is to create an active e-commerce network with a focus on the region’s business community.
“M2C provides unique opportunities for manufacturers to create closer bond with the consumers and have better control over their value chains. Meanwhile, e-Commerce logistics is a strategic priority for the region. We believe the research project could be very timely to strength the competence for various stakeholders,” says Hamid Jafari, Associate Professor in Operations and Supply Chain Management at JTH.
Regional Focus on Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Despite the rapid growth in e-commerce, large companies have often advanced further on their e-commerce journeys than small and medium-sized businesses. However, the M2C E-commerce project in Jönköping aims to help maximize the potential of even small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. Through the regional study, they now seek to identify opportunities and challenges for these companies concerning last mile logistics, sales, and sustainability. By working directly with businesses in Jönköping County, the research team will gain valuable insights into which types of companies have the greatest potential to succeed in their e-commerce endeavors directly to end consumers and what business opportunities this entails for them.
E-commerce has witnessed steady growth in recent years, globally and in Sweden. Meanwhile, M2C models have become increasingly popular, especially for high-margin or personalized products, mainly due to the technological developments and the broader reception of e-commerce by consumers. Sweden is a leader in M2C e-commerce, wherein over 20% of the manufacturers sell directly to consumers, while the EU average is just above 12%.
M2C (Manufacturer to Consumer) or D2C (direct-to-consumer) refer to business models which involve manufacturers selling products directly to end consumers . The research is co-funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket), Regional Development within Region Jönköping County, The School of Engineering at Jönköping University, and Science Park Jönköping.