Critical Success Factors of E-commerce

A Literature Review on
Critical Success Factors of E-commerce
Student ID: …..
From the past few years, e-commerce has been evolving as one of the important trends in
practice. Also, it has been one of the significant themes for numerous research undertakings.
There have already been a substantial number of studies carried out on this theme with an aim to
explore the associated factors with e-commerce such as its concept, significance in this
competitive business market, various factors influencing its success and failures, and so forth.
This paper aims to develop comprehensive knowledge regarding the several aspects related to
the success of e-commerce. Moreover, this paper is developed with an objective to assist the ecommerce
startups by providing them with a detailed understanding of skills and measures to
adopt in their businesses so that they can sustain in the competitive marketplace and avoid
business failures. Though there are already plenty of studies carried out on this topic, the
majority of the studies are limited to a certain extent. Therefore, this paper critically reviews a
number of relevant papers related to e-commerce and crucial factors influencing its success. This
study will be based upon the current knowledge established by several academics regarding the
theme – critical success factors in e-commerce.
The critical review, being limited to identifying and discussing, but also synthesizes to generate
new perspectives on the studies, adds to the repertoire of existing knowledge with fresh
perspectives on the subject. Hence, both theoretical and integrative review have been provided
relevant to the topic in order to develop significant insights on e-commerce.
Keywords: E-commerce, business markets, E-commerce startups, competitive markets, internet.
Table of Contents
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. i
ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ii
1. Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
2. Literature review ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
2.1 Measuring Internet Commerce Success: What Factors Are Important? …………………….. 3
2.2 Consumer Acuity of Interface Quality, Security and Loyalty in E-Commerce. ………….. 5
2.3 Influence of Social E-Commerce on Website Stickiness …………………………………………. 7
2.4 Technology Anxiety …………………………………………………………………………………………… 8
2.5 Synthesis of Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………………. 9
2.6 Positioning Own Inquiry Against the Literature …………………………………………………… 13
2.7 Insights From the Literature ………………………………………………………………………………. 15
3. Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
4. References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
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1. Introduction
Nowadays, the internet is considered to be an effective go-to medium for any business to build a
sustainable and effective rapport with their existing and potential customers. According to, more than 4 billion individuals are found using the internet regularly, which is
approximately half of the populace worldwide. further reveals that around 40% of
the world’s populace are using smartphone in 2019 (Clement, 2019). Since early 1990, the
availability and accessibility to the internet, have contributed to the revolution in the ways that
the traditional businesses ran, i.e. buying and selling the products and services, and increase in
the use of the mobile phones and similar devices. For example, the increased use of laptops and
tablets, have prompted the quick development of electronic commerce (e-commerce) market. Ecommerce
is a process of buying and selling the products and services or conveying funds or
data through the electronic network, mostly the internet. This transaction can be multidirectional:
business to business, business to consumer, or consumer to consumer. Furthermore,
in early 1960, the initial data transaction was documented, similarly, in 1994 the initial retail
contract was verified, which paved a path for the e-commerce to be widely implemented in
businesses (Qualman, 2013). Meanwhile, e-commerce has established a rich and noteworthy
history. The E-commerce market has earned around 3.5 trillion dollars in 2019, according to The rise of technology in the globe has enabled the people to buy the
products and services from their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers. For the
businesses, it has never been easier to interact or engage with the customers. Similarly, for the
customer, it has never been easier to search for products, which means it would be hard to build
consumer loyalty for the e-commerce business without really winning them over.
The main purpose of this thesis is to explore the various caveats and facets regarding the crucial
factors that lead to the successful implementation of e-commerce. This study intends to provide
e-commerce start-ups with the skills, understandings and techniques that can be implemented in
their business to sustain in the competitive market ruled by the internet. Furthermore, this thesis
will concentrate on the implementation of social media and other platforms as an appropriate
marketing means to attract more customers. As more businesses are deciding to operate their
activities online, this study can be a precious guide for the magnates, who wish to evade failure
and strive for success. Previous pieces of research on this topic are limited to some extent, which
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is due to not considering the fact that the millennials and centennials are ageing and will in no
time be a greater part of global consumerism. Several research papers have taken a lack of
confidence towards mobile phones and other devices as the constraint for the e-commerce startups.
However, in reality, there are fewer people who are not so confident in technology in
comparison to the people who believe in technology. People with a lack of confidence in
technology often have people nearby them to assistance. Hence, this paper will draw upon a
number of relevant articles to develop a detailed understanding of the critical factors impacting
2. Literature review
In order to demonstrate an understanding of the literature on the topic – critical success factors of
e-commerce and to address the research problem, a critical review of the literature has been
undertaken. This section is divided into two major parts: Theoretical review and Integrative
review. The theoretical review will be entirely focused to examine the body of theory that has
been assembled with respect to the concept, issue, or phenomenon. Hence, a number of relevant
readings that are relevant to the theme will be reviewed, which have been conducted previously.
The reviewed pieces of literature are further divided into different headings such as Measuring
internet commerce success, Consumer perception of interface quality, security, and loyalty in ecommerce,
Impacts of social e-commerce, Technology anxiety, and more. Moreover, in the
integrative review part, the descriptive literature is critiqued and synthesized in order to generate
new perspectives and frameworks on the theme. While conducting the literature review, different
sources such as academic journals and books, official documents produced by the author or
organization, handbooks, and such are used. Furthermore, the relevant and useful materials are
collected from internet sources to ascertain and summarize all the significant research undertaken
on a particular theme.
Since a literature review is focused, it is essential to select a limited number of literature, which
are fundamental to our subject than accumulating a wide variety of articles, which might not
closely be linked with the theme. Here, to identify the literature review articles or studies, the
topic is combined with the terms as an empirical study or literature review. Related to the topic,
the author or studies, which have been cited several times, are identified; the recurring citations
were noted. A high citation count indicates that the study has been persuasive in the field, which
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means that it must definitely be included in the literature review. Along with this, a list of useful
keywords related to the topic were used to search the journals and articles from databases such as
Google Scholar. Furthermore, on the basis of the abstract of the study, the relevance of the
publications or articles that are being used in the literature review was determined. Also, while
the book or article was found as useful to the literature review, the bibliography was checked,
which was helpful to identify other relevant resources. Thus, the identified sources for this
literature review can be evaluated as relevant on the basis of its core insights and arguments.
2.1 Measuring Internet Commerce Success: What Factors Are Important?
In the recent era, shopping through the internet is rapidly being popular among people.
According to the study of the Goldman Sachs and Co, Harries Interactive and Nielsen/Net
Ratings, 2005, Internet has invested $30.1 billion except the travel expenses on 2005 holiday
season in the US only. This investment demonstrates a 30% increase over the holiday season’s ecommerce
sales (Mukhopadhyay et al., 2008). Keeney (1999) has undertaken a series of
experiments on a huge populace that concentrated on what they considered as significant while
buying goods and services on the internet. The research outcomes were then observed into an
inclusive series of values that was further categorized into two categories i.e. fundamental and
means objectives. Fundamental objectives are the goal that was regarded as important to
customer and means were considered as essential to be attained by e-commerce business.
However, Keeney (1999) undertook the research in a huge population, the consequences may be
prejudiced, due to race, age, culture and religion. Keeney (1999) recommended convenience as
the most pivotal fundamental objectives for the customers. However, Lohse et al., (2009),
recommend that customer satisfaction relies on the quick online purchase and checkout
procedures without surprises costs i.e. delivery charge, service charge and so on. The website
plays a crucial part in the e-commerce business‘s success. Furthermore, Keeney (1999) suggests
that start-up business e-commerce should consider its website as a novel store location.
Similarly, he states that 57% e-customer leave a website if it takes time to load. This eventually
reflects that the e-commerce business’s quality directly affects its sales. In the present context,
the e-commerce market with the rivals just a few clicks away, a completely purposeful website is
crucial for customers that consume the products using their instincts. Hawkins Stern
recommends that urge purchase mostly depends on outside factors like advertisements, websites
and other impacts the people who are imperilled in their environment. Furthermore, Keeney
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(1999) recommended that the stimulus, organism and response model could be utilized to better
comprehend the psychological behaviour of customers. This theory proposes that an outside
factor can trigger an internal response in an organism. E-commerce start-ups can employ this
method to treat external stimuli as their websites, treat consumers as organisms and desired
outcome of the interaction as the response.
Sung (2006), examined the pivotal aspects of e-commerce from the e-commerce organizations in
Korea, Japan and America. The researcher has recognized that six out of sixteen examined facets
are regarded as the critical success of these companies. In these countries, customer relationship,
ease of use, low operation costs, the privacy of information and security, delivery of products
and services, and enough information are the crucial factors of e-commerce operations.
However, Chen et al., (2004), recognized CSFs conducted the study on the virtual stores has
employed e-commerce as its second business channel and revealed that product offering, use of
storefront, perceived service quality and trust are the significant success factors to persist
competitive in the electronic market. Similarly, for e-commerce success, Rawat et al., (2013),
has allocated the CAFs that are user-friendly websites, delivery of the specific and high-quality
products and services, support from top management and infrastructure, trust among sellers and
buyers, e-commerce system security, customer acceptance, mass customization, competitive
market situation, and create new partnership and association.
Eid et al., (2002) have stated that business to business international internet marketing (B2B IIM)
has arisen as one of the fundamental components to sustain a company’s core benefit.
Nevertheless, market entrance and communication through the internet have influenced the
dynamics procedures in B2B trade. The researchers have found 21 core success facets that are
appropriate to most of the B2B IIM and were divided into five groups that are marketing tactics,
web site, global, internal and external concerned factors. Similarly, Ramanathan (2010) explored
the e-commerce website’s performance in the forms of numerous standards that stimuli the
consumer perception to buy the products and services on the same website. The writer has used
484 e-commerce websites in his research. The research revealed that satisfaction with claims is
the most appropriate criteria valued as a crucial by e-customers. Comparative costs and
refunds/returns are the desirable standards. Management availability, payment procedure and
privacy involvement are satisfiers whereas the dissatisfier is on-time delivery.
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2.2 Consumer Acuity of Interface Quality, Security and Loyalty in E-Commerce.
Business entities have to attract and retain the customers in order to sustain in the competitive
marketplace of internet. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is deemed as the most appropriate
tactics for marketing, selling and combining the online amenities that plays a significant part in
recognizing, accessing and retaining customers (Choshin and Ghaffari, 2017). It facilitates to
optimize and increases the relationship and communication among the business ventures,
manufacturers, suppliers and consumers. The writers have assembled data from 180 staffs of the
post bank that revealed customer satisfaction, costs, knowledge and infrastructures are the facets
that impact e-commerce’s success. Nevertheless, Chang et al., (2009), revealed that quality,
alleged security and customer loyalty are the significant success aspects for the e-commerce
businesses. The researchers have projected a framework for investing the prominence to switch
the costs and consumer loyalty. They have assembled the data through web-based survey then
was evaluated by employing search engine optimization. The outcomes of the research were
consumer interface quality, apparent security, customer satisfaction and substituting costs shares
a positive relationship with each other. Thus, the writers also recommended that these aspects
directly influence consumer loyalty of an e-commerce website.
Yadav et al., (2018) have scrutinised the influence of perceived social media marketing
(SMMAs) on the loyalty of customer through customer equity derivers (CEDs) in e-commerce.
The authors have collected the data from the 371 students and through the use of SEM, the
research hypothesis was analysed. The finding of the research was personalization, word of
mouth, interactive, informativeness and trendiness are the five dimension included in the ecommerce’s
perceived SMMAs. Similarly, the SMMAs have directly influenced all the CEDs
and the CEDs positively influence customer loyalty to the e-commerce business. However,
Brilliant et al., (2013) have undertaken the research to recognise the influence of customer
satisfaction and trust, on e-commerce’s loyalty and recognize the aspects that stimulus
satisfaction. The outcome of the research was that the quality of information influenced trust and
that trust influenced loyalty. E-commerce websites must concentrate on providing trusted
information on the quality of the product, which contributes to great consumer trust and huge
trust contribute to huge loyalty to the e-commerce website.
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The organizations that are based on the internet should always remain competitive. Through the
use of internet in business, the company will be able to gain competitive advantages i.e. attract
and retain customer (Afsar et al., 2013). Customer loyalty is a key attribute to continuously gain
a competitive advantage. The writers have demonstrated a theoretical model to find out the most
appropriate facets on e-loyalty and to enhance the e-commerce business. For this, they have
allocated e-loyalty procedures into three stages – cognitive, effectiveness and action.
Furthermore, they have selected seven components – demographic characteristics, sales
promotion, websites and technology, the product presented to customer, e-security and e-trust, esatisfaction
and e-loyalty. The researcher has revealed that the customer’s demographic attributes
and e-trust and e-security are the most appropriate aspects of e-loyalty. Similarly, Anderson et
al., (2003) has examined the effect of satisfaction on loyalty to e-commerce. The researchers
have indicated that though the e-satisfaction influence the e-loyalty, this connection is qualified
by consumer’s individual elements and organizational business level facets. In the consumer
facets, purchase quantity and accessibility motivation were identified to emphasise the effect of
e-satisfaction on e-loyalty. Similarly, in the business level aspects, trust and perceived value
generated by the business venture knowingly stress the influence of e-satisfaction on e-loyalty.
In addition, Jiang et al., (2016) have observed the influence of e-service quality proportions on
customer alleged value and consumer loyalty. The writers have collected data from 235 online
customers, they have found that five fundamental e-service quality variables that include care,
consistency, product portfolio, easy to use and security. They illustrated that these five
dimensions have completely effected the customer-perceived value that eventually enhances
customer loyalty. The writers further have evaluated the intermediating role of customerperceived
value among the e-service quality and customer loyalty. The findings of the research
revealed that customer perceived value have a partial intermediating role in the influence of
usability, product selection, relatability and care on customer loyalty whereas security plays a
full facilitating role with customer loyalty. Furthermore, the authors said that employing this
model can enhance service performance, which eventually retains customers. Nevertheless,
according to Safa et al., (2013), the traditional trade has transformed into e-commerce by new
technologies. The organizations will lose their e-customers due to the competitive internet
business environment. E-trust, e-satisfaction and e-loyalty have a pivotal role. The researchers
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have revealed that technological facets mostly have influenced on e-satisfaction and
organizational aspects mostly impact e-trust.
2.3 Influence of Social E-Commerce on Website Stickiness
In this contemporary business world, designing an operative e-commerce website, which appeals
as well as retains the customers, has been a key issue for virtual companies. The customers can
simply seek for the info on the products they require on many websites in few clicks. So in this
context, website stickiness is one of the vital aspects for the success of e-commerce websites.
Friedrich et al., (2019) explains that the behaviour which forces to stick with the websites are the
critical success determinant for e-commerce websites. The stickiness to these website is
described as the attention received by the websites from its users. The research carried out by
Friedrich et al., (2019) purposes to develop knowledge on the impacts of social commerce on
website stickiness via consumer’s insight of affective and cognitive aspects. The findings of the
study specify that the social commerce feature has an imperative influence on such stickiness of
an e-commerce website by impacting the affective and cognitive factors of consumer’s
perception positively. The authors claimed that an e-commerce website will be enabled to
provide various kinds of social information with the usage of rich groups of social commerce
features as the website stimulates the perception of consumers in terms of usefulness, enjoyment,
and trust. As a result, the website stickiness elevates significantly since the consumers take in ecommerce
as trustworthy. Moreover, the study further explains that the perceived usefulness
positively influences the perceived enjoyment; the level of enjoyment can be generated at the
greater level if a website makes the consumers convenient to search and purchase the products.
Thus, the study suggests that social commerce advantages can deliver an innovative and unique
means to advance the e-commerce website’s effectiveness.
Friedrich et al., (2019) decided to emphasize the determinants; perceived usefulness, enjoyment,
and trust knowingly that prior studies provide proof that these determinants might substantially
impact the website stickiness (Benlian, 2015). The study undertaken by Benlian stated
consumer’s fit and perceived enjoyment as two major intervening mechanisms, which carry over
the design personalization cues and differential impacts of contents on the consumer’s
enthusiasm to stick to a website. The findings of this paper suggest that the integration of the
content and design presentation cue is not effective in growing preference fit and consumer’s
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willingness to pay above and beyond the levels generated by content clues alone. Furthermore,
Hajli (2013) presents sporadic evidence that the factors presented in the study by Friedrich et al.,
(2019) are prone to be impacted by social commerce features. However, the social commerce
features might impact the other features, which have not been considered; risk factors, social
factors, product-related factors, and more (Bai et al., 2015). Discussing the implementation of
social commerce features, Friedman et al., (2019) investigated only four different social
commerce features, while (Curty and Zhang, 2013) describe the existence of additional groupbuying
tools and live chat tools, which were not examined in this study. Therefore, further
research is essential to examine the impacts of diverse implementation orders of social
commerce features in a systematic way.
2.4 Technology Anxiety
The global world has been very small due to online transactions; the products can be sold and
promoted through the internet without employing salesmen or opening shops. The majority of
businesses are focused on the utilization of internet marketing so that they can be sustainable and
remain competitive in the business market since it has been the most influential trend currently.
With the assistance of internet marketing – E-commerce, the marketers are able to successfully
demonstrate their goods and services to the wide-ranging categories of individuals. Though the
majority of the marketers, as well as consumers in the western world, prefer using technology to
comfort them, there are still many who are comfortable with the traditional ways. For most of the
individuals, internet surfing for a particular product is likely to be stressful. The situation can be
so bad in some contexts that only thinking about surfing on the internet, an individual can
develop mild signs of anxiety. Al-dalahmeh et al., (2007) states this situation as trait anxiety.
Moreover, the author claimed it as technological anxiety, when specifically related to computers.
The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of self-efficacy on e-commerce and
develop a theoretic background in order to examine the influence of cognitive aspects on the
usage and adoption of e-commerce. The findings exhibit that although the usage of e-commerce
has been significantly increasing worldwide, there are many psychological determinants, which
hinder the growth of e-commerce. Self-efficacy, consumer outcome expectation, trait anxiety,
and such are some of the major psychological factors that encumber the e-commerce growth as
well as the individual’s perception towards conducting online transactions (Al-dalahmeh et al.,
2007). The scholars advocate that there are other major determinants affecting e-commerce,
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which are yet to be covered. Hence, this paper revealed the other factors such as e-commerce
anxiety, personnel innovation in Information System, and e-commerce-self-efficacy, which have
not been covered yet in the areas of e-commerce.
However, the study failed to explain one of the key psychological determinants that impact the
intention to adopt e-commerce – perceived usefulness. Kalinić et al., (2016) advocate perceived
usefulness as one of the key psychological factors impacting the intention of adopting ecommerce
since the individuals will start adopting e-commerce only if they perceive it
convenient and useful than other options such as using teleshops or shopping in regular shops.
Similarly, other critical factors such as training and education are also explained in the study by
(Kalinić et al., 2016). The authors suggested that most of the developing countries face the
digital divide, which means the literacy level is low in using the English language and
computers. Since computer usage and the English language is the most significant for ecommerce,
most of the consumers who have low literacy are more prone to develop trait anxiety
or technology anxiety (Alyoubi, 2015). Therefore, to increase the perceived trust as well as
customer readiness to adopt e-commerce, more efforts are required in the education areas
specific to e-commerce. Thus, in order to build up the awareness regarding the adoption of ecommerce,
the government must play a vital role to provide more educational programs, which
in turn will also help to overcome the technology anxiety within the consumers (Kabango et al.,
2.5 Synthesis of Literature Review
In the present global context, to retain and sustain in the niche markets, it is necessary to reach a
large customer base, which is possible through e-commerce. So, the use of e-commerce is
rapidly increasing to several industrial companies as a substitute way of commerce, which
concentrated on its significance to the growing instrumentalization of web and the strengthening
to create value (Varela et al., 2017). E-commerce is the forms of e-business that consists of
products, services and information where the involved parties do meet physically but interact
electronically. Sebora et al., (2009) have conducted the research emphasizing on the relationship
between the entrepreneurial attributes, e-service business aspect, governmental support and the
success of new e-commerce business. The researchers have taken the 1,794 e-commerce venture
as the sample for their study. The researchers have taken achievement, risk-taking propensity,
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locus of control and e-networking as the founder facets. Similarly, reliability, responsiveness,
ease of use, self-services as the e-service aspects and governmental support as the external facets.
The outcomes of the research were the success of Thai e-commerce entrepreneurs are concerned
with the tycoons who have high achievement goals and internal locus of control similarly
business model that focuses on reliability and ease to use. However, the writers have undertaken
the study by concentrating on the owner’s perspectives. The writers might have delivered indepth
comprehending regarding the success of e-commerce if the study has included consumer
perception (Laosethakul et al., 2006). Laosethakul et al., (2006) have also undertaken their study
in order to find the success facets for e-commerce in Thailand. The researchers have selected
nine e-commerce ventures from several sectors for their study. From their analysis, they revealed
that social behaviour and national culture, particularly issues concerned with trust and shopping
behaviour are important for the success of Thai e-commerce. Thus, the writers have taken
industrial key success factors, well-designed web, internet connection, the capability of IT,
selection of large product, online security, brand image, competitive costs and promotion of
products, customer support and relationship and fulfilment of order as crucial factors for the
success of e-commerce.
According to Cosgun et al., (2012), e-commerce is redefining the relationship among the
business and customer, business procedures and to some extent whole industry by giving
innovative distribution techniques, and channel as well as a new medium of payment and
communication. The researchers have explored the success aspects that influenced the ecommerce
operation within SMEs. The success factors are compared among the users and nonusers
of e-commerce applications. They have shown that technological, organizational,
environmental facets and e-commerce properties to some extent influence the e-commerce
ventures. Hence, the researcher has revealed that the crucial facets that directly influence the
success of e-commerce in SMEs are financial resources, perceived benefit and content. The
adverse relationship among the content and e-commerce performance can lead to the complexity
creates the profusion of information that contributes to confusion among the customers. Yet,
Feindt et al., (2002) have stated that e-commerce is more bout tactics rather than technology. The
technological factors play a significant role to support the success factors rather than acting as a
success factor itself. They further said that technology helps to make the business strategy
effective, it is only a means to the end. The researchers have explored the crucial success facets
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that fast-growing e-commerce businesses need to consider in the beginning phase. The research
of the authors are based on the EU results project KITE. The research has recognized out of 11
crucial success facets, 6-7 factors should be taken by the fast increasing baby gazelles right at the
beginning of their organization. Content, convenience, interaction and control are the successful
facets that are significant for all e-commerce business. Similarly, commitment, price sensitivity,
brand image and interaction are the group of success aspects applicable to all organizations
operating in the e-commerce industries. The reasons for the success and failure of the ecommerce
ventures are the owner’s growth motivation, proficiency in managing growth and
availability of resources. Hence, the e-commerce entrepreneur should determine the technical
skills level.
Since the past few decades, web-based service has become a crucial part of people’s life. The
decrease in error, mistake, cost and time are the benefits of e-commerce for both buyer and
seller. E-commerce is being popular as it is easy to use (Ismail et al., 2014). A huge number of
customer visit and register on the websites but all those who register may not necessarily buy the
products or services due to the issues of trust, satisfaction and loyalty. For the company, a loyal
customer is considered as the assets. The writers have converted the potential customers into the
loyal customer by generating trust, satisfaction and loyalty. The outcomes of the research
revealed that organizational facets that influenced e-trust and technology that ultimately
contributes to e-satisfaction and e-loyalty in e-commerce ventures. Furthermore, Hidayat et al.,
(2016) agreed with that e-trust leads to the e-loyalty in the e-commerce business. The writers
have evaluates online customer satisfaction and trust as a key factor that influenced online
customer loyalty. They have assembled data from 443 respondents and analysed the collected
information through structured equation model. The findings of the study revealed that
information quality, customer service and security positively influence online customer
satisfaction and trust. The researchers have recommended that in order to gain the loyalty of the
e-customer the entrepreneur should focus on generating the tactics on customer satisfaction and
trust. Likewise, Nisar et al., (2017) also undertaken the study to evaluate customer satisfaction in
the e-commerce marketplace. The writers have taken American e-commerce firms to determine
the determinants that influence customer e-satisfaction and the connection among the consumer
satisfaction and spending in retailing of e-commerce. The researchers have revealed that
consumer spending is directly influenced by customer satisfaction in e-commerce retailing. They
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further revealed that online spending of the consumers positively influences e-service quality, eloyalty
and e-satisfaction. Thus,
E-commerce is an emerging marketing form where the business is undertaken through social
networking platforms. It plays a crucial role that impacts the purchase intention of the consumer
(Bai et al., 2015). The research of Bai et al., (2015) revealed that consumer behaviour is
influenced by the seller uncertainty, social support and product uncertainty. Similarly, they have
shown that the social factors can boost the purchase intention of the user in social shopping.
However, the research of Holsing et al., (2012) revealed that website stickiness is the
fundamental performance indicators for website managers. They said that the longer website
stickiness could boost the involvement of the customers that will ultimately give more time to
the customers for a purchase transaction. Thus, the writers have told that website stickiness
influenced the consumer engagement in e-commerce business. In addition, Roy et al., (2014)
have investigated the relationship among several dimensions such as e-servicescape, website
quality, website stickiness, website loyalty and word-of-mouth. The findings of the research
revealed that website stickiness and website loyalty are the two distinct dimensions that form the
quick influenced the word of mouth, whereas, e-servicescape and website quality indirectly
influenced word of mouth. Thus, the purpose of all the reviewed literature is to show the
customer engagement in e-commerce business.
Rababah et al., (2010), stated that e-commerce realized that main success or failure factors are
not just web presence or low price, but also delivering high-quality websites. The writers have
revealed that e-commerce entrepreneurs should evaluate the quality of websites to achieve the
required website software. Similarly, AlGhamdi et al., (2011) have stated that trustworthy and
secure online payment alternatives, robust ICT infrastructure and government support are the
success factors for the e-commerce. Furthermore, Al-dalahmeh et al., (2014) has explained how
individual differences affect e-commerce usage. The research has identified that self-efficacy,
technology anxiety, the expectation of outcome, and consumer trust are the vital indicators for ecommerce
success. Client trust is considered as the most powerful determinants and then ecommerce
self-efficacy. Furthermore, they have revealed that e-commerce self-efficacy is not
influenced by general self-efficacy and technology anxiety. The outcome of the research can also
assist in developing the most effective tactics that enhance the usage of e-commerce through
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some helpful insight into the e-commerce implementation and performance by single customers.
Thus, the finding of the research helps the entrepreneurs, implementers and developers of ecommerce
organization to enhance the effectualness of electronic services and enhance the
implementation of e-commerce in the world.
2.6 Positioning Own Inquiry Against the Literature
As this paper is developed with a purpose to provide an in-depth understanding of the factors that
are likely to influence the success or failure of e-commerce, a number of literature have been
reviewed critically. The literature that is divided into several themes were all entirely focused on
exploring the aspects that can affect both the success and failure of e-commerce. A reliable
research approach has been applied to the paper in order to make this paper effective. The
fundamental assumption that was taken for this study is the failure of several starups of
ecommerce business within the initial 120 days. Similarly, the methodological assumption in this
study is that lack of applicable and up-to-date knowledge about e-commerce in the significantly
growing and dynamic competitive market is the key reason for the failure of the e-commerce
business. Moreover, the values of the researcher, me, and the participants of the research will be
the axiological assumptions for this paper. Building upon the current knowledge established by
different authors regarding the particular theme, there are several factors explained in different
pieces of literature, which includes marketing tactics, customer acceptance, assistance from top
management and infrastructures, significantly increasing competitive market situation, mass
customization, e-commerce system security, and more (Rawat et al., 2013).
The central theme of this study is to offer e-commerce startups a detailed knowledge about the
skills and measures to adopt into their commerce so that they can be able to foster their business
and avoid business failures. So, the above-reviewed literature demonstrated a wide range of
aspects that are probable to impact the failures or accomplishment of e-commerce business in
this contemporary business world. However, most of the paper lacked in explaining the aspects
related to millennials and centennials. Since social media and similar platforms is entrenched in
the lives of millennials and centennial, focusing on these two generations to explore the impacts
of social media adoption could have demonstrated a better comprehending of social media
implementation in e-commerce. The studies which have been conducted previously are limited to
some extent in terms of not taking into considerations that the millennial and centennial groups
Page | 14
are aging, which indicates the escalation of the bulk of global consumers. These cohorts of
people have been raised up on social media and the internet, so focusing them will enable to have
a better knowledge of the integration of business transactions with social media (Mamonov et al,
2017). The studies could have been able to provide an effective understanding of social media
adoption in customer engagement if they had considered the substantial aspects associated with
the aging of millennial and centennial groups. Therefore, the existing knowledge provided by the
literature could be more effective if the critical success factors for e-commerce to increase
customer engagement with millennial groups are focused.
Furthermore, some studies advocated that individuals who lack the confidence in smartphones
and browsing the internet to search for information on the product they require as a factor for
hindering the development and growth of e-commerce. They termed this as a trait anxiety or
technology anxiety; however, there are relatively low numbers of people who fall into this
category in reality. In other words, it can be explained that though people prefer the traditional
ways in shooing, the majority of the individuals choose modern ways; internet and smartphones
to get product information in today’s global world (Al-Debei et al., 2015). In addition, the
technology has been advanced in such a way that it has been contributing significantly to make
the lives of people easier and convenient in terms of every aspect including shopping. The
researchers have claimed that there is still low literacy level in the majority of the areas, however
in today’s contemporary world; there are moderately low numbers of individuals who are
illiterate in terms of using English language and internet usage (Li et al., 2015). The researchers
have demonstrated their knowledge only from a single perspective however they limited their
studies to some extent. They lacked their studies in terms of reality; there are moderately few
individuals who are not well-educated about internet surfing or adoption of social media to seek
product information as well as marketing using the internet in the real world. Only a sole
perspective was presented, however, they lacked to demonstrate that if the individuals are
anxious or unconfident about adopting technology for getting product information, shopping or
marketing via the internet, they certainly can have other individuals with slight or profound
knowledge about technologies to assist them (Xu, 2016). Thus, the psychological factors:
technology anxiety or trait anxiety, impacting the growth of e-commerce business was only
presented with a single perspective while the applicable perspective, in reality, was lacking in the
Page | 15
Henceforth, the studies reviewed earlier can be evaluated as partially supportive to fulfil the
research objective of this paper since some of the studies were limited to some extent in terms of
not taking millennials and centennials into consideration as they are to build a bulk of global
consumers in forthcoming days. Moreover, trait anxiety and technology anxiety are also assessed
to be demonstrated from a single perspective; however, it could have been examined from other
related aspects of reality.
2.7 Insights From the Literature
In this contemporary business world, e-commerce has been progressively applied to the majority
of the industrial organizations as well as services. It has emerged as one of the interesting options
of commerce, which has assisted many industries, organizations, or businesses to sustain in the
significantly escalating competitive business markets. A number of studies have been undertaken
regarding e-commerce dealing with its several associated aspects such as its appropriateness,
significances to the current market situation, its critical success factors that are prone to impact
its success or failures, and more (Laudon et al., 2016). The majority of researchers claimed ecommerce
as the most significant marketing strategy that suits this increasingly technological
and innovative business environment. Moreover, it is also an appropriate strategy for selling and
integrating online services, which play a crucial part in recognizing, obtaining, and maintaining
the consumers. The authors explained e-commerce as the critical aspect that organizations or
businesses need to take a close look since it optimizes as well as enhances the communication
and linkages between the firms, manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers. Despite this fact, the
number of the literature suggested that success or failure of e-commerce relies on a set of
effective inside and outside organizational forces, which is obligatory to be taken into
consideration by the business firms or industries (Choshin et al., 2017). In order to explore these
critical factors, various scholars have undertaken a number of studies, which revealed several
factors categorized as social factors, psychological factors, and such.
Though e-commerce endorses economic growth by assisting the online ventures to compete in
global business markets, there are several critical factors on which the success in e-commerce
relies. The pivotal success elements allow differentiating a good business on the Internet, which
in turn provides knowledge to gain a competitive advantage for business sustainability. There are
several disciplines engaged in defining the critical success factors in e-commerce, effective
Page | 16
harmonization and combination are required in a collaborative manner as breaking down of
integrating elements are likely to aggravate a collapse in the entire system (Varela et al., 2017).
Hence, in a particular business, the stakeholders must be involved in such a way that they are
able to attain superior quality products, which meets their consumer’s needs and demands
effectively. As discussed earlier, creating a successful e-commerce business is challenging,
especially that the business market is highly competitive with reedy profit margins and a high
failure rate. So the businesses or firms need to take a closer look at some key factors to measure
business success, which ultimately influences its success or failures in competitive markets.
Some of the key factors incorporate customer service, customer retention, conversion rate,
acquisition cost, multi-channel marketing. Hence, these factors are one of the most significant
factors however there are other many factors explored by the researchers through their extensive
knowledge and it includes considering websites, customer relationship, the privacy of
information and security, low-cost operations, ease of adoption, the supply of products and
services, and many more (Sung, 2006).
Over the years, e-commerce has been developing profoundly creating a rich and vast history. The
various advantages of e-commerce are evident. In the context of today’s global market, there is
an extensive competition among the marketers and also an increasing need to influence the
extreme number of consumers within a specific time. Here, e-commerce provides several
opportunities to businesses or firms to reach their consumers within a specific niche market,
which was not possible to reach before the internet era. Despite the benefits of e-commerce being
widely explored, the researchers have critiqued that there is no certainty that the firms adopting
e-commerce for marketing their products are services will be successful (Varela et al., 2017).
Building upon the number of relevant studies has depicted that adopting e-commerce is actually
challenging in reality and the ultimate success of the firms or businesses lies in the question
about how to utilize e-commerce in order to assist in creating a sustainable competitive
advantage over rivals. The perception of e-commerce is considered to be alike to the solar system
– e-commerce is a vital star that is essential to include all the other stars in its orbits since once
the close stars get lost; the constancy of the complete system can be collapsed (Nisar et al.,
2017). Likewise, failure of a particular factor such as poor branding concept, lack of credibility,
and so on can adversely impact the success of e-commerce business. Here, other proposed
Page | 17
critical success factors incorporate social networks, design-usability, web-marketing,
communication support, security, brand, and consumer conversion.
Overview of the significant number of studies has provided insights that web-marketing,
customer retention, customer conversion, adoption of social media, consumer perception, and
other psychological factors are the key factors affecting the success or failures in e-commerce
business. Drawing upon the several literature themes, web stickiness and consumer’s perception
about quality, loyalty, and security are some of the critical success factors, whereas trait anxiety
or technology anxiety as the psychological element influencing the e-commerce’s success
adversely. Designing an appropriate e-commerce website that attracts and retains potential
consumers is actually a challenging task for online ventures. As any consumer can conveniently
seek the product information through any website in just a few clicks, developing an effectual
website to appeal and maintain the customers has been tough. Regarding this, the use of a set of
social commerce features effectively can keep the customers attracted as it stimulates the
consumer’s perception of usefulness, trust, and enjoyment. However, the millennial and
centennial groups must not be ignored since they are soon to build up the bulk of global
consumers. In addition, social media has been embedded in their lives, which means these
groups have been raised on social media and the internet, so they are likely to impact the success
of e-commerce.
Likewise, there is an imperative correlation between customer satisfaction, customer interface
quality, customer switching costs, and perceived security. The above-overviewed study
suggested that all these factors directly influence the loyalty of a customer towards an ecommerce
website (Tankovic et al, 2018). While the majority of the individuals are persecuted
by the scammers on the internet, handling these types of issues would stimulate the feelings,
hopes, ambitions, and uncertainties of the customers. Furthermore, consumers are not able to
comprehend their self-emotions because of several unseen psychological factors. Regarding the
psychological factors, trait anxiety or technological anxiety has been considered as the
fundamental factor influencing the success in e-commerce. Technology anxiety or trait anxiety
has been explained to limit the growth and development in e-commerce success. Because of the
low literacy in terms of internet usage and English language usage, most of the individuals are
more prone to develop trait anxiety and especially technology anxiety. In other words,
Page | 18
individuals are called to have technology anxiety if they stressful about seeking product
information through browsing the internet (Featherman et al, 2016). Though a single perspective
has been demonstrated in most of the studies, technological anxiety can also be understood from
other perspectives. Hence, in reality, there are moderately low numbers of consumers who are
unknown about internet usage and English languages in this era, but there are unconfident or
anxious people when it comes to technology or internet usage. Also, these types of people
usually can have other individuals around having internet usage knowledge to assist them.
Therefore, going through the number of relevant studies has provided a detailed understanding of
the several critical facets of e-commerce.
3. Conclusion
To sum up, the immense global network generated by the internet and continuous improvement
in the capabilities of the technology leads the growth and expansion of the e-commerce and
online business. It was not easy for both buyer and seller to either sell or purchase the goods.
However, e-commerce makes easy for both manufacturer and seller to interact with each other.
In this paper, numerous literature was reviewed in order to find out the factors that influence the
e-commerce business. Majority of the authors have revealed that e-commerce is the appropriate
business tactics that are suitable for rapidly increasing technology and innovation in the dynamic
business environment. However, some researchers indicated that the failure and success of ecommerce
on the organizational internal and external environment. Similarly, the researchers
have claimed that there are numerous critical aspects on which the success of the e-commerce
depends upon. They are an internet connection, IT competence, product portfolio, brand
recognition, customer support and relationship, commitment and so forth. To develop a
successful e-commerce business is very challenging as the market of the internet is highly
competitive with high profit as well as a high failure rate. Though, e-commerce provides a huge
opportunity for entrepreneurs to reach a huge customer. It helps to make effective plan and
policies to sustain and persist competitive in the internet market, as it is focused to build
customer satisfaction, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty.
However, there are numerous limitations concerning the assortment of secondary data. Several
articles concerned with the research topic are comparatively old as well as the e-commerce
market is rapidly varying and developing. Many of the research articles that I have studied in
Page | 19
order to gather the information regarding the research topic of crucial success elements for ecommerce
are openly written to support the accomplishment of the large business venture rather
than SME’s and e-commerce start-ups. In addition, after the literature review, the subsequent step
is to undertake the research methodology and research model that consists of the assembling the
data and sampling, computing the data, and evaluation of result to complete this study.
Furthermore, this research may conclude with some remarkable outcome that can be an
instruction for the entrepreneurs to undertake the e-commerce business and its sustenance of ecommerce
tactical forecasting, and innovative and new business framework concerned with ecommerce.
Page | 20
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