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Working Paper

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Electronic commerce -- Social aspects, Delivery of goods


E-commerce and house deliveries have experienced a rapid growth in the last two decades. The return of online shopping products is an undesirable side effect of online shopping that has not been properly studied in the transportation literature. Utilizing binary logit models, this research answers two novel research questions focusing on the online shopping channel: (i) What household characteristics are associated with a higher or lower propensity to return online purchases? and (ii) What type of products contribute to positive return delivery rates? To answer these questions models are developed using data collected from a household online survey of e-commerce and shopping activities in the state of Tennessee. The results clearly indicate that the number of online purchases, the percentage of fashion and beauty products purchased online, the presence of a delivery subscription, higher household income, and lower age are the key factors that increase the probability of having returns for products purchased online. Implications of the findings for transportation planning and online shopping are analyzed and discussed.


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