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Determinants of E-Commerce Adoption amongst SMMEs in Durban, South Africa

Type of Resource:

Year of Publication:

- Enablers
- Challenges
- Outcomes and Impacts
- Trends

- Internet for Democracy

Author(s): Ndayizigamiye, Patrick; McArthur, Brian

Using the Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DOI), this paper examines the determinants of e-commerce adoption by South African SMMEs in the Durban area. The persuasion variables of the DOI (relative advantage, compatibility and complexity) were tested against four (4) e-commerce options namely, customers payment by credit card through the SMME’s website, customers placing orders through the SMME’s website, providing customer services through the SMME’s website and placing orders with suppliers over the internet. Findings reveal that relative advantage and compatibility are the only DOI variables that significantly influence the decision to adopt e-commerce in Durban. Specifically, improving information exchange with customers, easier access to international markets, expansion of business reach, reduction of costs of maintaining up to-date company information and improving information exchange with suppliers are significant factors that inform the decision to adopt e-commerce in Durban. In addition, compatibility with existing company’s technology infrastructure and compatibility with company values significantly affect SMMEs’ decision to place orders with suppliers through the internet. Interestingly, the adoption of the other e-commerce options (online payment by credit card, online ordering and online customer services) is not significantly influenced by compatibility.


Region of Study:
East Africa,

Country of Study:

Study Quality