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E-COMMERCE ADOPTION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON RETAIL BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

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E-COMMERCE ADOPTION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON RETAIL BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Significant progress has been made in mobile and wireless communication technologies over the past two decades, which has created a wealth of opportunities for visible solutions to enhance various aspects of our everyday lives. The field of business transactions has seen a growth in the use of these solutions. In addition, businesses were more interested in providing comparable services over mobile devices as electronic commerce activities developed throughout time in an effort to reach a larger customer base. According to International Telecommunications Union, (2019), this follows from the growing adoption and use of mobile phones around the world with a penetration rate of about 96.4% . Nowadays, a large number of people own smartphones, which are capable of much more than just voice calls. Users may perform sophisticated tasks like online shopping, electronic payments, and mobile marketing services (Ko et al., 2019, Zhang et al., 2018). The phenomenon of using mobile devices for business activities is generally termed as electronic commerce or simply e-commerce.

According to WTO (2018) commerce is the sale or purchase of goods or services conducted over computer networks by methods specifically designed for the purpose of receiving or placing of orders. It is the future of trade because of technology, and the technology concern is computers, network connection, and technician (Jack, 2017).  However, these actions refer to virtual transactions. That means that e-commerce implies electronic transactions including buying, selling, transferring or exchanging products, services and/or information, which can take place between different types of actors namely individuals, enterprises, governments and civil society organisations (Alyoubi , 2018).  Beyond that, tablets, cellphones, mobile devices, and desktop computers can all be used to complete the transactions. 

Furthermore, with globalization and the development of Internet, e-commerce is more and more present in our daily life and also in retail businesses.  However, the benefits of e-commerce to various customers and business owner, such as lower costs for goods and services, unrestricted access to the worldwide market, a substantial prospective market share, inexpensive advertising, and low entry barriers, can be used to explain the industry's growth. (El Gawady, 2019). Similarly, 40% of Internet users do online shopping worldwide. Since e-commerce makes it easier to acquire goods and services, it also makes payment easier, which is why digital payments have developed. Nevertheless, it is not only the business landscape that e-commerce has changed. It has also created a new vocabulary like online platform, e-stores, global competition, global consumer segment and virtual value chain among others (Goyal and Esposito, 2018). Additionally, electronic developments have become part of every facet of the financial markets in urban Cameroon, including e-exchanges, e-money, e-banking, e-brokering, e-insurance, and e-supervision. Farmers and other small company owners used to benefit greatly from mobile phones, but now they can easily transition to internet technology. There is the need for producers and business owners to have access to up-to-date market data, government regulations, and product advertisements. Moreover, E-banking solutions are being tried by commercial banks to streamline operations, cut expenses, and boost productivity in order to better serve retail businesses in Cameroon. Every day, developers strive to create personalized software to satisfy customers who are determined to boost their product sales. In addition, customer attitudes and the widespread adoption of e-commerce in the nation are greatly influenced by factors such as age, gender, education level, security, trust, cost of service, accessibility, and marital status. Therefore, a survey will be conducted  on E-commerce adoption and its implications on retail businesses in Cameroon.

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the past few years, more and more businesses have started using online shopping because of new and fast technology. However, the downside of internet and e-commerce transaction fraud has jeopardized the trust between buyers and sellers. Buyers are concerned about the security of their personal information, susceptible to theft during online card payments. Sellers, on the other hand, worry that the individual making a card payment over the internet may not be the rightful cardholder. Additionally, a significant challenge lies in the absence of efficient delivery systems for purchased goods, customers have to go to stores to pick up what they bought online. 

According to Telecommunications Sector Performance Reviews published in 2017 and 2018, E-commerce in Cameroon faces challenges due to outdated telecommunications and business infrastructure, unfair differences in opportunities, a high number of serious fraud and scam incidents, political obstacles, and a large amount of public debt.These factors have slowed down the growth of retail (online) businesses in the country. Also, numerous research studies have examined the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce and impact of customers'  perception of various e-commerce technologies and their capacity to accept new innovations. These problems are crucial because they contain the key that will enable bankers, market participants, and business owners to develop plans to support novel electronic systems that integrate cutting-edge technology to enhance operations. In addition, the ability to work remotely via mobile communication is a major problem for conducting business in Cameroon, especially retail businesses. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to examine E-commerce adoption and its implications on retail businesses in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine E-commerce adoption and its implications on retail businesses in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Determine the extent at which e-commerce is adopted among retail businesses in Cameroon.

Determine the contributions of e-commerce to the growth of retail businesses in Cameroon.

Identify the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce among retail businesses in Cameroon

 1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

To what extent has e-commerce been adopted by retail businesses in Cameroon?

How does e-commerce contribute to the growth of retail businesses in Cameroon?

What are the factors influencing the adoption of e-commerce among retail businesses in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: There is no significant relationship between the level of e-commerce adoption and the  growth of retail businesses in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between the level of e-commerce adoption and the  growth of retail businesses in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study

This research is significant in such a way that business owners will understand how online retail practices may impact their business operations, sales, and customer relationships. Additionally, it help policymakers in Cameroon to understand the implications of  adopting e-commerce to aid in the development of supportive regulations and infrastructure.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to E-commerce adoption and its implications on retail businesses in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on E-commerce adoption and its implications on retail businesses in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will determine the extent at which e-commerce is adopted among retail businesses in Cameroon, the contributions of e-commerce to the growth of retail businesses in Cameroon and identify the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce among retail businesses in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to retail businesses in Bamenda, Cameroon

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Retail business:  is the sale of items and services in small quantities to customers in-store or online.

E- commerce: is the sale or purchase of goods or services conducted over computer networks by methods specifically designed for the purpose of receiving or placing of orders (WTO, 2013).


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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  • Methodology: Yes available


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