Role Of E Commerce And Activities Marketing Essay

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This section will provide the background of the research area. Furthermore it contains the general idea of e-commerce, role of e-commerce and activities including Internet banking as one of the main sector in e-commerce activities,internet in Mauritius,. This section also describes importance of customer satisfaction in e-commerce, services quality and satisfaction, measuring online service quality and E-trust.


In today's research studies, electronic commerce (e-commerce) is the glamour of the field, e-commerce has many definitions. Zwass(1996) has defined e-commerce as "the sharing of business information, maintaining business relationships, and conducting business transactions by means of internet-based technology. According to Anderson Consulting (1999), e-commerce can be defined as " the conduct of business among e-enterprise and customers where e-business means: A business enterprise with the capability to exchange value electronically." Awad (2000) has identified four e-commerce activities to internet users: Shopping, Banking, investing and Online elctronic payment for Internet services. Among which Internet Banking is the major activities in e-commerce.

1.1.2 Internet Banking

Pikkarainen, Pikkarainen, Karjaluoto, and Pahnila, (2004, p. 224) defines internet banking as an 'internet portal, through which customers can use different kinds of banking services ranging from bill payment to making investments'. In the today's world, internet banking is the latest in the series of technological wonders. ATMs, Tele-Banking, Internet Banking, Credit Cards and Debit Cards have proved to be effective delivery channels for traditional banking products. Internet banking is a process of innovation where customers handle their own banking transactions without visiting bank branches. Nowadays, online banking is also one of the technologies which are fastest emerging banking practices.

1.1.3 Internet in Mauritius

Internet infrastructure and provision in Mauritius is one of the best of the Continent. Access to the Internet on the island is accessible to residential and business users and the number of Internet users has grown rapidly over the years.

Figure 1-1: Internet Ranking

Source: ICT Indicators Web Portal:

The total Internet subscribers includes dialup, fixed broadband, DSL Internet subscribers, leased line subscribers, mobile Internet users and other broadband connection subscribers. The number of Internet subscribers at the end of 2008 stood at 199, 511 and as at September 2009 it had reached 251,453.

Figure 1-2: No. of internet Subscribers

Source: ICT Indicators Web Portal:

Internet Access by Households

The chart shows the main purpose for use of Internet in households in Mauritius. Surveys conducted between 2000 and 2008 show some major changes in the trend of Internet use at level of household. In 2000, the main purpose for Internet use was Email and Chat with 62%, followed by Research work representing only 50%. However, in 2008, although the percentage of usage is higher for all activities, we observed that most people go on Internet for Research work (82.5%), rather than Email and Chat (71.6%). It is observed that there has also been an increase in usage of Online Banking services. From only 1% in 2000, the percentage usage has increased to 6.8% in 2008. The number of persons using the Internet for education purposes has also increased notably, from 10% in 2000, it has reached 32.4% in 2008. The use of Internet as a medium for Entertainment (music, movies, online games), has doubled over the years from 27 % in 2000 to 54.3% in 2008.

Figure 1-3: Types of internet usage in Mauritius

Source: ICT Indicators Web Portal:

1.1.4 Customer satisfaction in e-commerce

In general, satisfaction plays an important role in competitive environments such as e-commerce because of its impact on customer loyalty (Auh and Johnson, 1998; Shankar et al., 2000; So¨derlund, 1998; Zeithaml et al., 1996).

E-commerce enterprises have understood raising the customer satisfaction degree in the key factor which can survive them. Thus, customer satisfaction is the most important criteria of an enterprise. Nowadays, more and more commercial organizations take "customer satisfaction " as their main strategy object (Mihelis, Grigoroudis & Siskos 2001).

Internet has become a hub for conducting business and a "two way traffic". Generally, the internet can be understood as a key technology for eCommerce. For every online provider it is important to win new users, to satisfy their customers.

1.1.5 Relationship between service quality and satisfaction

The relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction has got a great deal of attention and stimulated considerable debate during the past decade. De Ruyter et al. (1997) summarized the conceptual gap between the service quality and satisfaction as the following: customer satisfaction is directly influenced by the intervening variables of disconfirmation, while service quality is not; satisfaction is based on predictive expectation while service quality is based on an ideal standard expectation; and the number of antecedents of the two concepts differ considerably.

1.1.6 Measuring Online Service Quality

With the growing interest in service in online retailing contexts, an increasing number of research studies had their main focus on understanding online service quality. Many different scales measuring online service quality have been developed primarily based on consumer perceptions: WebQual , WebQualTMm SERVQUAL, E-Qual, AST (Attitude toward the Site), SITEQUAL, e-SQ, eTailQ and many others.

1.1.7 E-trust

Trust is a widely studied phenomenon towards disciplines. Traditionally, researchers in the fields of psychology, sociology, social psychology, economics, and marketing have been interested in trust as an crcial factor affecting human behaviour and relationships between different agents (Blomqvist 1997). Researchers found trust important, more particularly, in the relationships between consumers and e-vendors (Ratnasingham 1998; Merrilees & Frye 2003).

Problem discussion

In the competitive global marketplace understanding customer's need has become a crucial factor. As a result most companies has moved from product-centric to customer-centric. Satisfaction matters a lot to companies as it has an effect on customer loyalty and retention.

E-commerce is an important part of the global economy. Users of E-commerce Web sites often have high expectations for the quality of service, and if those expectations are not met, the next site is only a click away. Customer satisfaction has become an increasingly important issue for e-business. One way of enhancing customer satisfaction is through offering superior e-service quality (Lee & Lin, 2005; Zeithaml et al., 1996).

E-service is becoming increasingly very important not only in determining the success or failure of electronic commerce (Yang et al., 2001), but also in providing consumers with a superior and greater experience with respect to the interactive flow of information. Service quality is seen as the extent to which a service meets customer's needs and expectations (Lewis and Mitchell, 1990). The website design, relaibilty, security, customer service and trust are issues for customer satisfaction. Thus it is very important to satisfy customer.

Motivation of the study

Online service is an important part of the Mauritian economy and it is a worthwhile topic to study .

Few studies and investigations have been done in Mauritius

Objective of the study

Measure the importance of quality factors from mauritian customers' perspective so that the quality of the online services can be enhanced for the future.

Assessing e-trust which is very important to maintain satisfactory relationship with customers

Assessing customer satisfaction, website design, reliability, security, customer service and e-trust with regards to the number of purchases by the respondents per year.

Assessing the level of satisfaction across the demographic profiles of the respondents