Keynote at the cross-border event 2019

On September 2018 I presented the results of the second part of our large scale research on the state of cross-border e-commerce in Europe. The focus of the keynote was the strategy e-retailers deploy as well as the success they have with these strategies. Via this page you can download the presentation (the page is in Dutch, the presentation is in English). Twinkle Magazine published an interview with me prior to the event. You can read the interview here (is in Dutch). At the event I was interviewed by Dexport on strategy and success in cross-border e-commerce. Check this link for all interviews at the cross-border event, including my (Dutch language).

EMAC Doctorol Colloquium May 2018

The annual conference of the European Marketing Academy (EMAC) is an annual forum for presenting and discussing marketing-related research projects. Prior to the 47th annual conference, the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) and EMAC organised the 31st conference for PhD students in marketing. In early January I sent my entry to the EMAC Doctoral Colloquium (DC) and in early March I was informed that my entry was accepted (68% rejection, so I took it as a compliment!). On Research Gate you can find my submission

My entry was assigned to the track marketing research for beginners. In this track I was accompanied by 11 fellow participants who also just started their promotion project. We all presented our work to three experts in the field:

Chairman: Kapil Tuli (Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Co-chair(s): Katrijn Gielens (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, USA)
Girish Mallapragada (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University (Bloomington))

And I got a lot of feedback! Simple, constructive and useful. I wrote the following two tweets about it:

On May 27: On June 8:
Presented the first work of my #phd @EMAC_2018 #doctoral #colloqiuim and received useful feedback to discus with my supervisors prof van Herk, @jweltevreden and @TibertVerhagen #phdlife Back to the drawing board after receiving feedback at the #doctoral #colloquium of #emac2018 #phd #phdlife #phdchat #marketingmodeling

The website of EMAC states: “The DC will be held in a collaborative, open and friendly atmosphere”, which is absolutely true. And the feedback that was given by the three experts was extremely useful. Did we change everything as they suggested? No, not entirely. But it did make us rethink our model and we made some changes in both the model as well as the story around it which makes it so much better than it was. I did learn a lot during the DS and met some wonderful people:

On May 29:

Group photo of the participants and chairs of the beginners’ track on marketing research @EMAC_2018 #EMAC2018

If you want to read my submission, please go to Research Gate:

How I fell in love with R

The fun part of doing a PhD are the PhD courses. I didn’t realize this at the beginning, when they informed me that Vrije Universiteit obligates PhD candidates to obtain 30 credits. But by now (I have obtained 25 credits in 2 years time) I am very happy with this obligation. I have learned so much which I can not only use in my PhD project but also as a lecturer.

My favorite courses are those about R. R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. R is available as free software under the terms of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License in source code form. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms and similar systems (including FreeBSD and Linux), Windows and MacOS. My first statistical course using R was in April 2016 at the Vrije Universiteit, and I was pretty nervous. I haven’t done many courses on statistics and whenever my computer does something I don’t want it to do I panic. The same happened during this course: I totally panicked. I didn’t understand the software, and I also ran into trouble with the statistical analysis I was supposed to do in R. It wasn’t the best moment in my life. My children were aged 4 and 5 and I had worked way too much and way too hard for over a year. During the course I realized I was not able to do the exam, I needed to take a break.

So I did and followed the same course one year later. Still I had difficulty understanding the way R works but I managed to copy the syntaxes from my lecturer and I was able to interpret the output. I passed the exam and put all I had learned about R in a folder and stored it. In October 2017 I was ready to analyze my first data, so I opened R and not SPSS. And that was the moment I fell in love with R. I managed to do all the things I needed to do, and all the things I didn’t know I could find on the internet. When multilevel modeling appeared not to be possible (my number of respondents per country was too low) I changed to structural equation modeling comparing groups. A new challenge which I managed to master more or less. Enough to get a submission to a congress I really wanted to go to accepted (EMAC Doctoral Colloquium 2018)

Last week I did a course on Strutural Equation Modeling using Lavaan in R by prof Rosseel, the developer of the lavaan package. And this time I could fully understand what he was explaining, even the algebra matrix which is the basis for the algorithms in the package. In two weeks’ time I have to give a course using SPSS. That will be challenging as I hardly ever use the buttons anymore. Even in SPSS I prefer writing syntaxes (although that is frustrating to do as this software is not build for that). My aim for the near future is to teach statistics with R and it seems to be heading in the right direction. In the meantime I have lots of data to analyze in R!

What is so interesting about cross-border e-commerce?

The topic of my PhD project is ‘how online selling and shopping across national borders in the business-to- consumer market is affected by differences between countries’. I have been an online cross-border shopper for many years now.

First of all I prefer shopping via the Internet over physical stores. Not only for convenience reasons (not leaving the house, shopping at all times of the day), but also because there are so many products available out there that don’t fit in a few physical stores nearby. And the service of people working in physical stores in the Netherlands is deplorable. Second, I prefer shopping via the Internet as you can explore so many online shops, either from the Netherlands or from other countries.

The list of products I’ve bought across borders is endless. From coasters to a wood burner. The latter was definitely the most expensive buy and was recommended to me. The coasters just appeared after a long search. I like to search for a specific product or brand and I don’t pay much attention where the online shop is from I haven’t had experiences yet. Guess that helps.

When I was doing my Master in Marketing at Vrije Universiteit I was really troubled by choosing the topic of my master thesis. Fortunately I was recommended to my supervisor prof dr Hester van Herk. She was part of a project on cross-border e-commerce which captured my interest instantly. When I explored literature further for my PhD research there appeared several interesting gaps. The first part of my project is about SMEs selling across national borders. I look at the factors affecting their business performance, and I compare SMEs from developing markets with SMEs from emerging markets. In the second part of my project I look at consumers and how country perceptions interact with webshop perceptions.

Cross-border e-commerce is for me an endless interesting topic. For the past three years I have been part of the cross-border expert group of the Dutch research project Shopping Tomorrow ( This gave me the opportunity to talk about cross-border e-commerce with e-commerce managers from large Dutch firms. Cross-border e-commerce is an opportunity for firms to grow, and for consumers to shop around the world from your home.

Why combining a PhD with raising children?

I’m often asked why I am doing a PhD while raising two children (currently age 5 and 7) and working as a lecturer. I don’t have a short answer.

When working at ING I was able to participate in a master’s  program at Tilburg University. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish that program, as the bank started reorganizing and I truly wasn’t happy working there anymore. So I explored what was in my heart and became a lecturer. Loving it from the first day onwards! One year after I started working at an applied university the Dutch government decided that all lecturers teaching at bachelor level should have a master’s degree. So once again I was able to go to University. At that time I was pregnant with my second daughter. Full of hormones I quickly googled ‘marketing university Amsterdam’ and applied for the part-time program at Vrije Universiteit. Four weeks after my baby girl was born I started with the pre-master.

At one point I called a friend and former colleague at the bank, telling her that it surprised me that I had to work so much harder than during the program at Tilburg University. More statistics and reading academic articles. She didn’t know either why there was such a difference, so I asked prof Ruud Frambach, who was teaching us Strategic Marketing at the time. He explained that the program at Tilburg University was a master of arts and the part-time Marketing master at Vrije Universiteit was a master of science. I panicked! Called my husband and my friend saying I would never be able to study at that level. They calmed me down and we agreed: If I would have a good result on the first test, I would continue. I did.

After a few months I realized I had fallen in love academic science. The part-time master took two years but after that I didn’t want to go back to full-time teaching. That’s when I started thinking about doing a PhD. My husband supported me from the very beginning of that idea, and my children were already familiar with me working during weekends and holidays. So why not? We agreed that as long as ‘the ball kept rolling’ I would pursue my new dream.

Next blog: The topic of my PhD project

Promotiebeurs voor Leraren (2017) NWO

In cross-border e-commerce, electronic retailers (e-retailers) aim to extend their economic activities via the Internet beyond national borders. Unlike large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling with their international online expansions. This study investigates how both country characteristics and firm owner characteristics influence the success of SMEs in cross-border e-retailing. Through conducting a multi-national study in 31 European countries, this study builds theory on the decision of SMEs to start cross-border e-retailing and on their subsequent business performance. This project is among the first to set up such a large-scale study on SMEs in cross-border e-retailing.


Cross-border e-commerce: een wereld om te winnen (2016) Twinkle Magazine

Om de concurrentie het hoofd te bieden en om verder te kunnen groeien, zullen Nederlandse webwinkels de komende jaren meer moeten inzetten op crossborder e-commerce. Maar waar liggen vooral de kansen voor Nederlandse webwinkels in het buitenland?

Twinkle Magazine 2016, Volume 12, issue number 9, Pages 58-61
Goldman, S., Weltevreden, J., Keuter, J.

Grenzeloos groeipotentieel (2016) Tijdschrift voor Marketing

Waarom kopen Nederlanders bij webwinkels in het buitenland?
In 2014 bestelde de Nederlandse consument voor 250 miljoen euro aan kleding en schonen bij de Duitse webwinkel Zalando. Toch maken weinig Nederlandse retailers zich zorgen over buitenlandse concurrentie op internet. Terecht?

Tijdschrift voor marketing 2016, volume 50, issue number 1/2, pages 42-45
Goldman, S., Heldoorn, R., van Herk, H.


Guest Speaker

Are you searching for an inspiring speaker for your event? Are you looking for a speech about the state of cross-border e-commerce in Europe? Are you interested in findings from academic research about succes and failure in cross-border e-commerce? Sjoukje translates the most recent findings, both from applied research and academic research, into value for practice.

Invited presentations

Seminar: Professionaliseringsdag Commerciële Economie, Hogeschool van Amsterdam
Workshop: Klantgedrag voorspellen op basis van data
Amsterdam, January 2019

Workshop: Culture and Economic Behavior, University of Nijmegen
Oral presentation: The impact of a country’s image on consumers’ buying intentions at foreign online shops. Extending trust-based models to cross-border e-commerce.
Nijmegen, January 2019

Course: Cross-cultural research, Master in Marketing, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Guest lecture: Complexity of cross-cultural research
Amsterdam, Februari 2019

Seminar: Cross-border Event
Keynote: Cross-border strategy & success
Utrecht, September 2018

Conference: European Marketing Academy (EMAC)
Title: What drives business performance of small and medium-sized enterprises in cross-border electronic commerce? A study comparing developed and emerging markets
Glasgow, May 2018

Seminar: International Days AUAS
Title: Interplay between research and curriculum. A successful example
Amsterdam, March 2018

Conference: The Global E-commerce Summit
Panel discussion: Proposal for VAT rules for cross-border e-commerce: How could it benefit online shops?
Barcelona, June 2017

Seminar: Cross-Border E-commerce
Title: The current state of cross-border e-commerce in Europe
Amsterdam, March 2017

Conference: E-Fashion
Title: The current state of cross-border e-commerce in Europe, preliminary findings
Amsterdam, August 2016

Conference: The Retail Conference
Title: The current state of cross-border e-commerce in Europe, preliminary findings
Nottingham, May 2016

Conference: General Online Research
Title: How does cultural context influence the use of information cues on websites in cross-border e-commerce?
Dresden, March 2016