To Analyze The Impact of E-Commerce On Individual Habits And Spending
Today, after the emergence of so called dot com and internet revolution, electronic commerce has remained new, emerging as well as constantly changing area that is related withbusiness management and information technology. Prior to the development of e-commerce, the marketing process and selling was mass marketing and sales force driven process. The emergence of e-commerce has changed the entire process of trading. The concept of electronic commerce is referred to as sharing of business information, maintenance of business relationship as well as conducting transactions of the firm through means of telecommunication networks. E-commerce has been in existence for over 40 years which has emerged from the electronic transmission of the message (Grant and Meadows, 2013). After the era of electronic data exchange, next in the series was the stage of e-commerce development. Electronic commerce defines buying and selling of products, services as well as information through computer networks including internet. The role of internet has been enhanced greatly towards advertising and distribution of product information with the aim to enable complete business transaction. The technology of internet has gained greater depth as well as power as more than 42 million households possess broadband cable or DSL access to internet in the year 2005. With the increase in number of people purchasing online, there has been significant rise in the trend of e-commerce which has made trade much easier than even before (Francois, Martens and Yang, 2014). The major focus of e-commerce is on digitally enabled commercial transactions between organizations and individuals. The technology of e-commerce is unique and more powerful than any other technologies that have been seen in the past century.
In the proposed research, greater emphasis has been given on analyzing the ways in which e-commerce affects individuals’ habits and spending. Such has been discussed with reference to entire e-commerce industry so as to gain deeper knowledge regarding the phenomenon under subject matter. The present report includes discussion on several research tools and techniques that can be used by the researcher to attain aims and objectives of the investigation.
1.2 Rationale for the study
What is the research issue?
The issue in the proposed research is related with changing habits of the individuals that is affecting performance of the business to a greater extent. Further, with the inclination in the sales of the retail outlets due to e-commerce there is greater need for the modern business to bring alterations in their strategies so as to gain an edge over competitors (Sun, 2012).
Why it is an issue?
Such is an issue because now days the individuals are located at distinct places and have busy working schedules. Due to this, they are not able to devote maximum time towards purchasing goods and services from retail outlets. Thus, this has reduced sales as well as profitability of the physical shops. This has affected survival of the firms to a greater extent.
Why it is an issue now?
It has become an issue now due to increasing competition among firms which are making sales through internet. As such, this results in fulfilling the demand of the customers in an effective manner. Moreover with this, the individuals residing at remote location can gain benefit through e-commerce.
What could this research shed light on?
The present research sheds light on the changes in the individuals’ habits and spending with the emergence of e-commerce. Along with this, the proposed investigation would present major drivers for e-commerce. Further, the study also includes the benefits of the e-commerce for the customers which can assist the organization in developing strategies accordingly.
1.3 Potential significance
The proposed research is suitable in making detail assessment with respect to ways in which e-commerce affects individual habits and spending. Along with this, it would assists in gaining insight to the importance of e-commerce in increasing business transactions among and between the organizations as well as individuals. The potential significance of the proposed investigation has been enumerated in the manner below:
- The proposed investigation would act as an aid for academicians in carrying out further research that includes PH.D. This is because present research offers sufficient amount of knowledge with respect to e-commerce and ways in which it affects customer's habit and spending.
- The present investigation would play an imperative role for the e-commerce industry in getting deeper knowledge regarding carrying out business transactions with greater ease. In addition to this, it is effective in developing suitable understanding on whether or not it positively affects the business.
- The present research can be of greater assistance for other researchers who are conducting investigation in the similar field. Through this, they can gain adequate information with respect to ways in which it affects individuals’ habit and spending.
- The proposed research has potential significance for the thinkers as it demonstrates innovative knowledge regarding tools and techniques that would be employed while carrying out the investigation.
2. INDUSTRY BACKGROUND
One of the significant activities on web is shopping. History of E-commerce has been regarded as one of the most progressive sector in the economy. The evolution with the electronic commerce is emerging at a greater speed. E-commerce has changed the way in which business carries out transaction whether in retail or business to business, locally or globally. Before the emergence of internet, the success of the retail business was attach with location. In the present time, internet has become global market place which supports smallest retailer. It is difficult to measure the scope of e-commerce within the market place. Vital importance is gained by e-commerce within the economy which is difficult to pinpoint exactly from where e-commerce starts and the old world economy ends (Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previte, 2012). One of the largest segments of e-commerce is regarded as online retail sector which is dominated by the sales of customer electronics, apparel as well as accessories. The industry of online shopping in early stage was just means of shopping that offers lesser options. The orders were placed by the customers and on the delivery of the product cash was paid. But, from the last few years such field has modernized to a greater extent. This has fascinated customers and has increased their interest towards e-commerce. With the changes in the industry the number of customers availing services has increased. This has further created demand for more business to enter into particular sector.
In the present era, shopping through online means has become major trend as a reason of attractiveness that is being offered by the online websites. Further, it also offers greater benefits to customers that includes user friendly interface, bulky online stores with latest fashion, no conjugation on the quality and quantity as well as easy payment method. This has increased e sales of the e-commerce business and resulted in enhancing their image in the market place in an effective manner. There is existence of several tools which have helped industry in increasing trade opportunities within the market place (Nica, 2015). This includes role of social media, mobile commerce, engines that supports price comparison, online grocery stores as well as innovation in logistics. History of e-commerce reflects the old notion of selling and buying. In 1991, e-commerce was made possible which resulted in increasing usage of internet for commercial purpose. Since then, number of firms has taken place over website. At initial stage, the concept of e-commerce has been defined as the process of executing commercial transactions electronically with the assistance of leading technologies that includes Electronic data interchange as well as electronic fund transfer. This was assisted by business in sharing their information and carrying out electronic transaction. The potential for using such technology has emerged in the late 1970s as well as provided the business with a chance to send their commercial documentation with electronic means.
E-commerce industry has offered greater benefits over brick and mortar stores as well as mail order catalogs. Customers can carry out search from large database of products and services. With the assistance of e-commerce, the actual prices can be seen and comparison can be made among prices of different brand at just a mouse click. This has ensured selection of best product at reasonable prices (Shaftoe, 2015). History of e-commerce cannot be thought without Amazon and Ebay which are among the first internet organizations which have offered electronic transactions. In accordance with the statistics, the most popular category of products that are sold on World Wide Web includes music, books, office supplies, computers as well as other customer electronics. In present time, there are five largest and famous worldwide retailers that are Amazon, Dell, Staples, Office Depot as well as Hewlett Packard.
3. RESEARCH AIM AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
3.1 Research Aim
To analyze the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending
3.2 Research Objectives
- To explore the concept of e-commerce and its benefits for customers
- To assess the key drivers for e-commerce
- To identify trends in individual habits and spending over the period of five years
- To investigate the impact of e-commerce affects individual habits and spending
4. LITERATURE REVIEW
4.1 Concept of e-commerce and its benefits for customers
The concept of electronic commerce is referred to as the utilization of the electronic medium with an aim to carry out commercial transactions. In accordance with the views of Pelet and Papadopoulou, 2012 it has been examined that; e-commerce includes sales of the product through internet (Pelet and Papadopoulou, 2012). In addition to this it has been gained that, the role of e-commerce is not just limited to online sales but it also includes online payment, after sale service, provision related to online catalog as well as delivery tracking. Leonard, 2012 asserts that, there are greater benefits of e-commerce for the customers which attract them in making purchase through online means (Leonard, 2012). The applications related with e-commerce offers customers’ large number of options thus the users can make choices by making effective comparisons. Moreover, it enables in making quick delivery of the products. E-commerce has greater advantage of 24*7 which implies that, customers can make transactions at any point of time from anywhere.
4.2 Key drivers for e-commerce
There is existence of major drivers that can result in emergence of e-commerce within market place. As per the views of Pozzi, 2013 it has been examined that, the key drivers for electronic commerce includes technological factors, political factors, social factors as well as economic factors. These have been enumerated below:
Technological factors: With the increase in degree of advancement of telecommunication infrastructure greater access has been offered to the business and consumers towards the new technology.
Political factors: The role of regulatory body in developing government legislation, initiatives and funding with the aim to assist the use as well as development of e-commerce as well as information technology is the major driver which has enhanced the role of e-commerce within business (Pozzi, 2013).
Social factors: With the increase in IT education and training, the potential buyers as well as workforce possess the ability to gain insight to use of the new technology. This has resulted in increasing role of e-commerce for the organization and customers.
Economic factors: The general wealth and commercial health of the firm has increased (Cao, 2012). This has contributed towards development of e-commerce within the business for the purpose of enabling transaction with greater ease.
4.3 Trends in individual habits and spending over the period of five years
The habits and the pattern of spending of the individuals are changing. In the past years, the customers were inclined towards making purchase of the products from retail outlets. But such does not allow them to make greater comparisons. In accordance with the views of Clark, 2014 it has been examined that; with the increase in awareness among customers regarding online purchasing their interest has been diverted towards e-commerce.. This is due to the reason that, it is less time consuming and allows greater opportunity for making comparison of products belonging to different brands (Clark, 2014). Thus, the customers are able to purchase products in accordance with their needs which offer them greater satisfaction. In the present time, the customers’ habits and spending are increasing towards online purchasing due to convenience it offers.
4.4 Ways in which e-commerce affects individual habits and spending
The impact of e-commerce is greater on the individual habits as well as their spending. In accordance with the views of Giovanis and Athanasopoulou, 2014 it has been determined that, with advancement in the technology customers strives towards understanding new technology and making its use in order to gain convenience. E-commerce has helped people in fulfilling their demand with greater ease. In order to experience online purchasing more and more customers are shifting their interest towards buying through internet as it saves lot of time (Giovanis and Athanasopoulou, 2014). Further, it assists in gaining reasonable products by making comparison among choices available.
5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5.1 Research philosophy
Research philosophy is referred to as the development of research background, research knowledge as well as its nature. It consists of the manner in which individual looks at several aspects in the different manner. There is existence of two philosophies related with research which involves interpretivism and positivism. The later philosophy presents suitable justification to the issue under investigation (Flick, 2011). With the assistance of research philosophy, researcher can demonstrate facts and figures that are associated with research issue. In contrast to this, positivism research philosophy is the one that relates with the generation of hypothesis which can be tested. Along with this, it provides opportunity for explanation which can be determined against the knowledge that is accepted across the globe.
In the proposed research, it aims at analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending positivism research philosophy will be employed. Through this, the researcher would be able to provide his own views with the aim to evaluate the social world. Further, the researcher will demonstrate interest in collecting general data from the social sample. The researcher under this is independent from investigation. Thus, it allows the scholar to concentrate on the facts which ensures suitability of the particular approach for the proposed study.
5.2 Research approach
The concept of research approach is defined as the way in which researcher carries out further study. . Research approach is categorized into two that includes deductive and inductive approach. Deductive approach is the one which begins with the statement and further investigation is conducted in order to respond towards to the statement. The major objective is to conclude with yes or no response to the question (Franklin, 2012). The deduction procedure moves from theory to research questions, to data collection, findings to rejection or confirmation of research questions. On the other hand, inductive research approach moves from specific condition with the aim to develop broad general ideas as well as theories.
For the proposed research that aims at analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending deductive approach will be used. This is because it offers opportunity to the researcher regarding development of hypothesis by using the theory. Under this, wide range of information is being gathered by the researcher so as to reject or confirm the hypothesis so as to resolve the issue.
5.3 Data collection
It is considered as the most essential aspect of every research. This presents that, suitable techniques are utilized by the scholar so as to collect data in order to achieve research aim and objectives. Data collection can be carried out by using two sources. This includes primary and secondary data collection sources. For the proposed research on analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending both primary and secondary data collection methods will be used. Primary technique involves collecting information for the first time. Under this, researcher collects new data by himself in an effective manner (Goddard and Melville, 2004). The tools of collecting primary data involve interviews, focus group, surveys, questionnaire etc. The present research entails to understand the impact of e-commerce for which the information will be gathered through primary method that is survey. Under this, questionnaire will be provided to the customers who are involved in making online purchase.
In addition to this, another data collection technique is secondary. In this, the data is gathered from the published studies. It is comprised of information that has already been gathered and used by other researchers in their studies (Remelts, 2015). It is also known as second hand tool. The tools for collecting secondary data include online, blogs, censuses and government reports.
5.4 Sampling technique
Sampling is regarded as the technique which is employed for the purpose of studying few selected items. The small selection is defined as sample. For the proposed study on analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending the technique of sampling that will be used is probability sampling. While the research is being carried out it becomes difficult for the scholar to collect data from entire universe. With the aim to resolve such an issue sample is selected. Such technique of sampling is effective for the present research (Kothari, 2011). This is due to the reason that, it provides equal opportunity to all the customers using E-commerce in getting selected as sample for investigation. Another major aspect related with sampling is finding out the sample size. It is referred to as the number of units which are involved in becoming part of study. It presents the respondents number from whom the data will be gathered with an aim to conduct the research. For the proposed thesis that aims at analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending sample size of 50 customers will be taken. This consists of consumers who are using online services for the purpose of satisfying their requirements.
5.5 Data analysis
Following the data collection from different sources another aspect of investigation is related with the analysis and evaluation of information that will be gathered. Data analysis is defined as the process which acts as an aid in application of logical and statistical tool in an effective way. This is carried out for the purpose of describing, condensing, illustrating and evaluating the data (Hogg, 2008). With this, the researcher is able to inspect, transform as well as clean the data for the purpose of reaching at valid judgment. For the analysis of the data there are two techniques which are qualitative and quantitative method.
For the present research that aims at analyzing the impact of E-commerce quantitative method of analyzing data will be used. The aim of this is to quantify the information. Such is conducted for the purpose of generalizing outcomes to the population of interest. For the present study, quantitative method would make use of statistical tools that includes SPSS as well as Excel.
5.6 Validity and reliability
There is greater need towards implementation of suitable tools and techniques in order to conduct the investigation in an appropriate manner. For this reason, the concept of validity and reliability has emerged within the process of research. Validity is referred to as the quality of being sound in terms of logic and facts. It is referred to as the degree to which the investigation evaluates what is needed to assessed within the research. Validity will be maintained in the present investigation by ensuring collection of information from valid primary and secondary data collection tools (Grafton, Lillis and Mahama, 2011). With these tools, information can be gathered from the customers in an effective manner. The method of questionnaire will be used in the proposed research as it would serve the purpose because of which it has been utilized.
Reliability is referred to as another major concept of the research. It presents the extent to which consistent and stable results are obtained through assessment tools. With this concept, determination can be made on whether the study would yield similar outcomes if it is conducted again. Reliability for the present research would be maintained by gathering data from authenticated sources as it ensures that investigation is free from any biasness.
5.7 Ethical consideration
It is regarded as one of the most essential aspect which needs to be considered by the scholar while carrying out research. There are different ethical norms that need to be analyzed in order to conduct study. These are as follows-
Prior approval- In such type of ethical consideration, it is essential for the researcher to undertake prior approval from the respondents to take part in the research. Thus, for this scholar is required to take prior permission from respondents to provide their best suggestions. No participants should be forcefully involved in carrying out the research otherwise it will not provide valuable suggestions to researcher.
Confidentiality- The scholar is required to assure confidentiality of the information obtained from the respondents and they should not share it with anyone else (Guercini, 2014). Thus, through complying with such type of principle, it helps in ensuring that respondents remain anonymous in the whole research.
Proper citation of work- It is essential for the scholar to undertake proper citation of relevant authors. Ethical consideration ensures the proper citation of work in the research to obtain results (Nalzaro, 2012). However, due care is required to be provided as no matter has been copied and pasted from another research. Also, rephrasing of the content is not allowed and therefore, researcher has to write the research in their own words.
There are wide ranges of resources which are required for the purpose of carrying out the investigation in an effective manner. These have been enumerated in the manner below:
Financial resources: In order to carry out the proposed investigation that aims at analyzing the impact of E-commerce on Individual habits and spending financial resources are needed to a greater extent. Through sufficient amount of financial resources researcher can conduct investigation in an effective manner. Greater amount of financial resources are needed while collecting data from several sources.
Human resources: There is greater need for proper human resources so that, investigation that is being carried out can be analyzed in an effective manner. Further, they are major part who assists in examining the research outcome to draw valid conclusion from the investigation (Leonard, 2012). It is important that, human resources to possess sufficient knowledge that can be used for the purpose of analyzing findings gained while carrying out research.
Technological resources: Technology plays a vital role in carrying out the investigation with effectiveness. With the use of software, graphical presentation of the data can be ensured. This would assist in presenting the research outcomes in a systematic manner.
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