Developing a native model of digital marketing in small online retail businesses in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Management, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Business Management, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Management, Ghazali Institute of Higher Education, Qazvin, Iran.


This study aims to design a native model of digital marketing in small online retail businesses in Iran. The present research is an applied research in terms of purpose and a mixed research method in terms of data collection method. The statistical population in the qualitative section includes 11 experts and in the quantitative section includes managers, owners, entrepreneurs and experts of small online retail companies, from which a sample of 168 people has been selected. The main data collection tools in the field section included a semi-structured interview (in the qualitative section) and a researcher-made questionnaire of 37 items based on a five-point Likert scale (in the quantitative section). The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were confirmed by content validity method and Cronbach's alpha coefficient, respectively. Qualitative data analysis was performed using the grounded theory method and MAXQDA software, and the partial least squares technique and Smart PLS software were used to test the hypotheses. Based on the results of qualitative analysis, six categories of factors including causal conditions, underlying factors, strategies, pivotal phenomena, intervening factors and consequences were identified. Targeted marketing was identified as the main category in relation to the context. In relation to causal conditions, two main categories including time management and cost were identified. In relation to digital marketing as a central phenomenon of research, the indicators of giving customers the right to choose, retaining customers, providing services in accordance with customer demands, establishing appropriate relationships and relationships with customers, and creating value for customers were identified. Commercialization strategies were identified as the main category of strategies and actions. Competitiveness of companies has been identified as the most important intervention factors; and economic development and service quality improvement were identified as the main categories of outcomes.


Main Subjects

Abirou, M., & Abghour, N. (2022). A Review of Blockchain and the Benefits for Digital Marketing-Related Applications of Blockchain Integration. Advances on Smart and Soft Computing, 29(4), 355-365.
Bowden, J., & Mirzaei, A. (2021). Consumer engagement within retail communication channels: an examination of online brand communities and digital content marketing initiatives. European Journal of Marketing. , 19 (6), 968-980..
Bu, Y., Parkinson, J., & Thaichon, P. (2020). Digital content marketing as a catalyst for e-WOM in food tourism. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 11 (4), 103-119.
Chaffey, D., & Smith, P. R. (2017). Digital marketing excellence: planning, optimizing and integrating online marketing. Taylor & Francis.
Chan, H. W. (2020). When do values promote pro-environmental behaviors? Multilevel evidence on the self-expression hypothesis. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 71 (1), 1013-1021.
Crosswell, L. H., & Sanders, M. S. (2020). Exploring Applied Practices in Entertainment Marketing: How Brands Connect with Today's Modern Family. The Handbook of Applied Communication Research, 9(2), 183-196.
Garg, S., Gupta, S., & Gupta, B. (2022). Impacts of Blockchain on Digital Marketing. In Intelligent Sustainable Systems (pp. 209-217). Springer, Singapore.
Gholizadeh, S., & Mohammadkazemi, R. (2022). International entrepreneurial opportunity: A systematic review, meta-synthesis, and future research agenda. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 20 (3), 218–254.
Gilboa, S., Seger-Guttmann, T. & Mimran, O. (2019). The unique role of relationship marketing in small businesses’ customer experience. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 51: 152–164.
Jamali, B., MohammadKazemi, R., Farsi, J., & Dehkordi, A. (2018). Theories of opportunity creation and effective entrepreneurial actions in opportunity creation context. Decision Science Letters, 7(4), 443-454.
Kafeshani, A. A., Rezvani, M., Chitsazan, H., & Kazemi, R. M. (2018). The art of fundraising from business angels based on entrepreneurial marketing: A new insight. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(3), 1-10.
Kaur, G. (2017). The importance of digital marketing in the tourism industry. International Journal of Research-Granthaalayah, 5(6), 72-77.‏
Kim, K. H., & Moon, H. (2021). Innovative digital marketing management in B2B markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 95, 1-4.
Krueger, G.B. (2019). Microbusiness marketing with no time, no money, and no expertise— - research and recommendations for improving marketing results for microbusinesses, A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctorate of Business Administration, William Howard Taft University. Published by ProQuest LLC.
Mohammadian Mahmoudi Tabar, M., sotoodeh, S., & Boudlaie, H. (2021). Identifying the effective factors of innovative marketing in SMEs in the IT industry. Journal of Entrepreneurship Development14(1), 81-98. doi: 10.22059/jed.2021.314552.653529
Moradi, M., Imanipour, N., Arasti, Z., & Mohammadkazemi, R. (2020). Poverty and entrepreneurship: a systematic review of poverty-related issues discussed in entrepreneurship literature. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 16(2), 125-152.
Munsch, A. (2021). Millennial and generation Z digital marketing communication and advertising effectiveness: A qualitative exploration. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 31(1), 10-29.
Olson, E. M., Olson, K. M., Czaplewski, A. J., & Key, T. M. (2021). Business strategy and the management of digital marketing. Business Horizons, 64(2), 285-293.
Salamzadeh, A., Hadizadeh, M., & Mortazavi, S. S. (2021). Realization of online entrepreneurship education based on new digital technologies in Iran: A scenario planning approach. Journal of Entrepreneurship Development14(3), 481-500. doi: 10.22059/jed.2021.319839.653617
Shaltoni, A., West, D., Alnawas, I. & Shatnawi, T. (2018). Electronic marketing orientation in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises context. European Business Review, 30(3): 272-284.
Siddoo, V., & Sawattawee, J. (2020). A Comparative Analysis of Digital Content Marketing Competency in Singapore and Thailand. In 2020-5th International Conference on Information Technology (InCIT), 50-55
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. M. (1997). Grounded theory in practice. Sage.
Thompson, J. D., & Weldon, J. (2022). Digital Marketing. In Content Production for Digital Media (pp. 35-46). Springer, Singapore.
Zangeneh, S., Mohammadkazemi, R., & Rezvani, M. (2014). Investigating the effect of Electronic Word Of Mouth on customer’s purchase intention of digital products. Management Science Letters, 4(11), 2433-2440.