Adoption intentions and benefits realised: a study of e-commerce in UK SMEs

Daniel, Elizabeth and Wilson, Hugh (2002). Adoption intentions and benefits realised: a study of e-commerce in UK SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 9(4) pp. 331–348.



Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly making use of e-commerce. This study seeks to identify the reasons that are causing such businesses to adopt e-commerce (adoption intentions); the benefits they are realising from their e-commerce developments; and, importantly, to determine if the areas identified as important are indeed those where benefits are being realised. It was found that responding to competitive pressure was the main reason leading companies to adopt e-commerce. Information sharing and communication between employees within the firm were found to be the e-commerce activities where firms are realising the greatest benefit. Areas where e-commerce could be considered as “under-performing” were found to be online recruitment and procurement. Areas that could be considered to be “over-performing”, and hence may indicate an appropriate starting point for those firms yet to adopt e-commerce, are in internal knowledge sharing and communication.

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