Comparison Reviews on E-commerce Research Methods: Suggestions for Post-COVID-19


  • Zhongwu Zhang Shanxi Normal University, Taiyuan, China
  • Tian Jin Shanxi Normal University, Taiyuan, China
  • Robert M. X Wu School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Australia



e-commerce research, mixed research methods, qualitative methods, survey, case study, treemap


This research aimed to understand the differences in research methods adopted between Chinese and international e-commerce research and provided suggestions and recommendations for further research agenda in e-commerce post-COVID-19. This research studied 4,425 Chinese publications between 2015 and 2019 compared to international reviews in e-commerce research. Twelve findings were discussed: 1) Most of China's e-commerce publications (80.24%) did not state any research method. 2) Mixed methods have been well-adopted in China's e-commence research (35.05%), including quantitative-mixed, qualitative-mixed, and quantitative-qualitative mixed methods. They were highly adopted compared to other studies. 3) Survey methods (27.97%) were predominantly single research - purely quantitative method in Chinese research, but they were still behind international research. 4) Case studies (14.05%) were adopted as the second single method in Chinese research. This finding was significantly different from international views. 5) There were different views on whether laboratory experiments should be considered a research method. 6) Document and text analysis methods were reported by Chinese scholars (6.48%), but less and even not be reported internationally. 7) The focus group method was less adopted internationally. 8) The content analysis method (0.84%) was less adopted in Chinese research and was not reported by international scholars. 9) The observation method (0.6%) was less adopted in Chinese research but more adopted in Ain et al. (2019) (2%). Other international studies reported no studies. 10) Interviews (0.36%) were least adopted in Chinese research but highly reported by international scholars. 11) Field study, secondary, and Delphi methods were only adopted in international research, and 12) The correlational research method was not reported in e-commerce research. The main contributions of this study could be stated: Being valuable for researchers interested in Chinese e-commerce research; Adding research value for comparing reviews in e-commerce research methods.




How to Cite

Zhang, Z., Jin, T., & Wu, R. M. X. (2022). Comparison Reviews on E-commerce Research Methods: Suggestions for Post-COVID-19. Global Economics Science, 3(2), 187–202.