Dr. Breksal H El-Miligy
E-Commerce Effect on the application of E-Retailing in Egypt
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) become not only a necessary factor of any business strategy and powerful for economic development revolution, but also considered an essential means for competition especially with the rapid growth of business to consumer (B2C). Retailers’ have realised the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) in business. Moreover, the use of ICT in business has enhanced productivity, encouraged greater customer participation, and enabled mass customization with reduced costs. Initially, retailers focused on competitive position and ability to determine emerging opportunities through adopting Web-based technologies, differentiating between traditional markets and the global electronic marketplace, utilizing the human capital skills to make the most benefit of e-commerce application on the overall performance. Retailers in Egypt have been reserved in their adoption of electronically delivered business aspects. Despite the fact that Egypt is the largest market in the Arab World and growing fast of ICT marketplaces, but e-commerce business processes and activities are not progressing at the same speed. Only a small number of Egyptian commercial organisations, mostly medium and large companies from the manufacturing sector, are involved in e-commerce implementation.
Purpose – Since there is an opportunity for growth in the e-commerce sector in Egypt that creates a necessity to investigate the decision support systems and the factors affecting the e-decision, the main purpose of this research is to determine the most current factors supporting retailers decision makers’ in Egypt to adopt e-commerce application. Empirically, highlights and investigates the barriers, obstacles and challenges that negatively affect retailers’ decision makers in Egypt to adopt and implement e-commerce from both retailers’ and customers’ perspectives.
Design/methodology/approach – this research is initially an exploratory research using a qualitative approach to gain in-depth understanding of the e-retail sector in Egypt. A semi-structured interview is developed based on the variables determining the adoption rate of e-commerce application. The population sample are of various categories of retailers’ decision makers in the retail market (owner, headquarter manager, marketing manager, and IT manager) in Egypt. The sample is ed to cover large, medium and small companies and also to cover different types of retail businesses in the Egyptian market. In Addition, a SERVQUAL model is used to determine the online retailers’- customers’ perceptions of service quality and how it affects the decision of the online purchasing.
Findings – From the analysis carried out. The research determines all the factors that positively and negatively affect retailers’ decision makers to adopt e-commerce application. It also defines the factors affecting the customers’ decision whether to participate not on any online purchasing transactions.
Research implications – Theoretically, the research have important practical implications for retail decision makers in Egypt in both public and private sectors. Furthermore, it assists retailers to better understand the key factors/areas relating to the dispersion of online retailing. It provides a focus in order to guide future adaptation and implementation of e-commerce that significantly effect on retailers’ strategic positioning and performance. It also presents some solutions to overcome the barriers that affecting the e-retailing decision - both retailers to apply and customers to transact - and support the decision makers in Egypt.
Originality/value – This research contributes to the already existing researches provide an extensive list of factors influencing retailers’ decision makers to adopt e-commerce application by commercial organizations in the western and Asian countries. However, there is a gap in the literature in this area for the Middle East and Africa. Specially, there is a lack of published empirical studies of e-commerce relating to the Arab world. Specifically, a qualitative research surveying Egyptian retailers does not exist. Most of the research up to now has been descriptive of e-commerce in Egypt and has not gone into deep analysis regarding the adoption and implementation of e-commerce by retailers. In addition, the research addresses the driving factors that support retailers’ decision makers to adopt e-commerce. Taking into account online shopping customers’ perspectives as an important driver for e-retailers.