Regional electronic marketplace framework: case of Kenya electronic commerce
Electronic marketplace is a major enabler of electronic commerce. Being the environment in which exchange of goods and services take place, its organization and setup determines the growth of electronic commerce in a given region. With the emergence of digital economy, electronic marketplaces will be the driver of economic growth for developing countries. It will be the tool to enable firms, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in developing countries reduce their cost of operations thereby easing the access to global market. Previous research however points out that developing countries have not yet derived expected benefits from this technology. The adoption, proliferation and maturation of electronic commerce in this region has been slow due to infrastructure, social and cultural challenges. For developing countries to tap into expected benefits, there is need for creation of a suitable trading environment where this form of business can thrive better. This is achievable through creation of an independent trading exchange or the electronic marketplace. Due to challenges developing countries face, there is need for frameworks that would fit with their current infrastructure, regulatory framework and social cultural perspectives in these countries. Previous research work on this area is scarce and provides only fragmented insights into the area. Mostly it's a generalization of developing countries yet it is clear the challenges faced by each region are different and in some cases, unique to the region. There is need therefore, to consider a given region and domesticate existing frameworks or even develop new ones to fit in the region. The research problem of this project was designed to investigate and analyzing Kenyan situation on business-to-business and business-to-customer electronic commerce, by looking at the adoption and proliferation of electronic marketplace, their maturation level and coming up with suitable framework that would improve this emerging technology in trading. The research design was a combination of descriptive survey and case study to further understanding of contribution of electronic marketplace in enabling electronic commerce in the region. There was no existing framework that was found suitable in our environment, hence a new one was formulated that resolves identified barriers to use of electronic marketplace for trading. The framework should be adopted as the reference framework for developing and management of sustainable electronic marketplace with a possibility of collaboration among businesses with existing relationship.