Special Issue "Sustainability in E-commerce and Retail Online"

A special issue of Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (ISSN 0718-1876). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Business Organization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ronan De Kervenoael
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marketing, Rennes School of Business, 2 Rue Robert d'Arbrissel, 35000 Rennes, France
Interests: retail choice, space, place and public policy; technologies, digital transformation, strategies and strategists; online behaviors and resistance; social robots and IoT technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alexandre Schwob
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marketing, Excelia, La Rochelle, France
Interests: digital transformation and its impact on consumers; organizations and society; influence of technology and market forces on consumption; social robots and IoT technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our efforts to integrate sustainability into contemporary retail strategies, tactics and operations have highlighted the importance of determining whether it would be necessary or not to bring back a humanistic approach to omnichannel shopping. In the era of artificial intelligence (AI), the ways in which e-retail employees’ jobs are transformed by machines that have become able to learn remains a largely unanswered question. Some have suggested that the sustainability of online retail and e-commerce relies on the need for the development of a “human touch” in e-customer relationships.

We are thus interested in the social dimension of e-retail and e-commerce sustainability whereby if not replacing jobs, AI potentially displaces employees’ job responsibilities toward tasks that favor, for example, the ability to be responsive and empathetic.

As such, further research is required to determine the conditions and modalities through which the reactivation of a “human touch” and re-humanized employees can trigger irreplaceable values that contribute to sustainability and e-retail development. This holds especially in the present day where post-pandemic consumption will need to be requalified and redefined.

In this Special Issue, we invite researchers to examine instances in which the human touch of employees plays a positive role, and occurrences in which it seems to be more problematic. This calls for the reinterrogation of the roles of technologies as a sustainable solution provider in e-commerce and online retail.

In doing so, we aim to acquire original research proposing theoretical developments both through qualitative and quantitative methodologies with insightful managerial implications in both developed and developing economies.

Articles can be proposed under one of the following topics:

  1. Employees’ role when surrounded by digital technology in e-commerce;
  2. Relationships between technology, technological development, and sustainability in e-commerce;
  3. Online retail employees’ journeys in the circular and social economy, and how these journeys are supported (or not) by technology;
  4. Online retail technology for inclusive, equitable, and supportive employee professional developments in retail;
  5. Online retailers’ HR strategies;
  6. Health threats (stress, burn out) for employees using digital technology in e-commerce.

This Special Issue shall open the debate on the extent to which the human touch is needed in contemporary e-commerce and online retail. We would like to invite you to participate in this debate.

Dr. Ronan De Kervenoael
Dr. Alexandre Schwob
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • retail management sustainability
  • online retail transformation and sustainability
  • omnichannel retail
  • AI, IoT, AR/VR and employees’ roles
  • E-commerce and online retail sustainability
  • humanism
  • social sustainability
  • qualitative, quantitative methods

Related Special Issue

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop