POTENTIAL GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR KENYAN SMALL SIZED FIRMs ONLINE (E-business adoption for small boutiques and the new customer online)

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this thesis is to identify the online growth opportunities for the small sized firm in Kenya.

Kenya is the most developed nation in East-Africa. E-commerce is a rapidly rising trend in developing nations, that provides small sized firms with growth opportunities. The e-commerce trend also comes with changes in consumer behavior. Sufficient use of e-commerce by small sized firms in Kenya, can open a opportunity to reach a wider range of audience and increase profits by expanding their business online.

In this thesis, two small Kenyan garment business owners will be interviewed to understand why small business’ should or should not expand online. The focus will be on (1) Informational Approach, how to develop an online strategy based on buying behavior. The ICT acceptance models will be explored to give an understanding on the actions needed for small business to grow into a e-business. A small sample of Kenyans, has been collected to support the hypothesis of the business owners’ and to find the factors that small boutiques need to consider when regarding the Kenyan consumer when expanding online.


The findings indicate that the biggest factors affecting Kenyan small business owners moving their businesses’ online lyes under marketing. By moving from traditional marketing models and adopting online marketing allows companies to engage their customers, from the begginning, and tackle factors that contribute to perceived risks such as trust in payments and quality.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background
1.3       Motivation
1.4       Research question

2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1       PEST analysis
2.2       Micro-firms
2.3       Online Shopping
2.4       Technology Acceptance Model
2.5       E-business Adoption Ladder (EAL)
            2.5.1 Websit
            2.5.2 E-commerce
2.6       Informational approach: Consumer Decision Journey
            2.6.1 Consider/Evaluate
            2.6.2 Buy
            2.6.3 Enjoy, advocate and bond
2.7       Transactional Approach: Developing a secure online platform for transactions
            2.7.1 Security and Cyber security
            2.7.2 Payment methods
            2.7.3 Trust

3. RESEARCH METHOD
3.1 Mixed method
3.2 Data collection
3.3       Limitations

4. DATA ANALYSIS
4.1       Interview results
4.2       Questionnaire results

5. CONCLUSION
5.1       Validity and Further Research
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX
APPENDIX 1. COMPANY A
APPENDIX 2. COMPANY B
APPENDIX 3. SURVEY


1 Introduction
The rapid growth of e-commerce has a huge impact on the modern consumers behavior. Today and in the future, small businesses in developing nations have a hard time competing with bigger enterprises if they do not adapt to the evolving e-business environment. This involves networking and becoming more interdependent to survive. In more developed nations, micro-firms are doing just so, however in developing nations this is not the case.

In todays world the garment industry is one of the most successful industries online. In 2014, just in UK alone 64% of 25 – 34-year olds shopped online for clothing (BBC, 2014). Consumers are attracted to online shopping because of lower prices, and overall convenience. The biggest barrier that keep consumers from shopping online are trust issues, related to consumers credit card information, fraud or refund policies (Akbar & James, 2014). These are some of the most pressing issues that are currently keeping marjority of the consumers from shopping online in developing nations such as Kenya.

1.1 Background

The internet has the power to change drastically the balance of power among consumers, retailer’s distributors, manufacturers and service providers. Some participants in the distribution chain may experience an increase in their power and profitability. Others could unfortunately experience a loss in market share (Hollensen, 2011). The outcome of online shopping adoption can vary depending on the target market.

Kenya is the most developed nation in Eastern Africa, with a population of an estimated 41 million people. It is considered a very well-educated nation where most people are English-speaking and bilingual professionals (Nairobi U.S Embassy, 2016). 70% of Kenya’s population is under the age of 35, of which according to statistics, 53% have a smartphone or access to the internet (Poushter, 2016).

1.2 Research purpose
The focus of this research is to investigate how small Kenyan boutique owners could increase their sales and profits by going online and what are risks of doing so. This will be done by exploring previous models on, how previous online producers have gone online. Interviews will be conducted with sellers/producers who own a brick and mortal shop to determine the most significant factors affecting Kenyan small clothing store owners expanding their service online and primary data will be collected from average consumers in Kenya to confirm the beliefs.

1.3 Motivation

I was born and raised in Finland, however my parents are both Kenyan. I just recently visited the country again at the age of 22 and realised there are multiple online opportunities. Especially amongst the Kenyan youth community the use of smartphones are rising which inturn has led to an increase in western trends and what we could consider the ever changing “pop culture”. This includes the use of smartphones and all the latest technology available. This research can also work as a part of a business strategy, therefore could be used as a basis for future implementation.

I am very fascinated and intrigued by the power of technology, and what can be achieved in developing nations with the use of new online tools. A lot of the small businesses in, for example Kenya have potential to grow. I hope this research will aid or give general guidelines to small business owners in Kenya, on how to expand their business online and what are the risks and benefits of doing so. This research can be helpful to anyone looking to get an idea of the challenges and opportunities in moving or expanding their business online in Kenya. I aim to write this as an exploratory research.

1.4 Research question

·         What are the most significant factors that affect Kenyan small boutiques when expanding online?

What are the most significant factors Kenyan small boutiques should consider regarding the Kenyan consumer when expanding online?


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