An investigation into the factors that influence customers' adoption of e-services

by Kamisha Persad

Institution: University of South Africa
Year: 2015
Keywords: Customer satisfaction; Enabler; E-service; Information and communication technology; Information and communication technology; Inhibitor
Record ID: 1421867
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18506


Customer satisfaction is a key concern in any business strategy. It is often assumed that customer satisfaction can be enhanced using e-services. E-service is defined as interactive service received via the Internet (Jiang et al., 2013). E-service has contributed to business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce by providing on-demand solutions to customers. The relationship with the customer is enhanced by introducing self-service options, product customisation and variety. However, there may also be negative impacts, such as techno-stress and lack of online customer assistance. The primary aim of this research was to develop a conceptual framework to describe the correlation relationship between the factors that influence customers’ adoption of e-services. Organisations use the Internet to attract customers, to conduct financial services and obtain information. This research focussed specifically on online shopping. The Grounded Theory research methodology was chosen for its flexibility and iterative comparison of data. A quantitative survey was conducted to determine the relative significance of the factors uncovered by the Grounded Theory methodology and to validate the hypothesis of the conceptual model. Customer adoption is attained where customer satisfaction is high, where the customer sees value in the service, and where there is customer loyalty or trust. To date, research has focussed primarily on developed countries. Many challenges face South Africa as a Newly Industrialised Country (NIC). The negative factors facing developing countries in terms of e-service adoption include: lack of infrastructure, economic constraints and an emergent socio-political framework. The aim of this research was to build a conceptual model for explaining interrelationships between the identified factors that have an impact on customer e-service adoption. The customer’s perception of technology-driven services affects the organisation’s reputation, which in turn affects profitability. This research will be beneficial to managers in local organisations that thrive on e-services. An understanding of customer preferences will lead to improvement of customer services in South Africa.