An Investigation of the Factors Affecting Consumers’ Adoption of E-commerce: An Empirical Study of Saudi Arabia




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


This study identified a gap in the adoption of electronic (e)-commerce in Saudi Arabia in particular and developing countries in general and hopefully, provides some useful insight regarding e-commerce in Saudi Arabia. This study is limited to a small nation or group which makes generalization not essential (Bryman 2008,p.391). But at the same time, it provides a good base for further work that can be based on the findings of this study.
Businesses across the world are launching e-commerce to increase sales by reducing costs, and extending their activities to serve their clients anywhere in the world. The literature, however, shows that in many developing countries e-commerce projects have failed due to a lack of consumers' readiness to adopt it whereas consumers in the developed countries have already incorporated e-commerce into their daily lives. In order for e-commerce to be successful in developing countries, consumers need to accept and adopt this service. This gap is addressed by this study so that developing countries come to benefit from e-commerce and avoid possible failures.
The study presents the key factors (enablers and barriers) that affect consumers’ adoption of e-commerce. It aims to understand consumers’ perspectives, move theoretically to obtain suppliers’ comments on consumers’ viewpoints, gather any new aspects mentioned by them and finally to combine the two perspectives together to arrive at the final findings. The researcher investigated a number of research methodologies to find the one appropriate for this study. As a result, a qualitative research approach was adopted, which was used to understand and explain the phenomenon under investigation. Grounded theory methodology (GT) was used since it uses theoretical sampling that helped to achieve the study’s goals by moving theoretically from the first empirical study to the second. The study used various techniques to collect evidence such as semi-structure interviews, observations and official documents.
The two empirical studies of this research offered a good understanding and further insights into e-commerce adoption among consumers. It reveals a roadmap for suppliers and governments that enable them to adopt e-commerce among consumers in developing countries. The findings of this study are divided into the following dimensions: cultural, telecommunication infrastructure, technical, suppliers’ responsibilities, financial, awareness, legal, delivery, tangible and intangible end-user characteristics, security, geographical and government’s responsibilities dimensions. Government’s responsibilities have been found to be the core category that affects most of the factors that are germane to this study. These factors can help decision makers understand the issues that are involved and effectively address them. The final paradigm model presented in chapter 8 illustrates the phenomenon, its causes, conditions, specifications and the required strategies that help to increase e-commerce adoption among consumers.



E-commerce, adoption, Saudi Arabia



Research Institute