Factors influencing online shopping adoption in Kenya: a case of Westlands district, Nairobi county.
Online shopping or online retailing is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Alternative names are: e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, and virtual store. An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or shopping center; the process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. In the case where a business buys from another business, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. By December 31 2012, the number of Internet users in Kenya had reached 16.2 million. Internet penetration went up to reach 41.1%. All this is in line with the worldwide pace of Internet adoption. Online shopping has also been growing at a very fast pace in the developed world, but the trend has not quite picked up in the developing nations, including Kenya. It is still a relatively new trend. There is not much research that has been conducted in this field, and as such literature on online shopping adoption in the Kenyan context is very limited. It is on the basis of this gap that the researcher set out to find out the reasons that influence adoption of online shopping in the Kenyan context. The study used descriptive survey research design as it is helpful in indicating trends in attitudes and behaviors and enable generalization of the findings of the research study done. This design was considered appropriate for this study because it saves time, expenses and the amount of quality information yielded is valid, while interviewer bias is reduced because participants complete identically worded selfreported measures. The population selected for the research came from Westlands district, Nairobi County and a minimum sample of 384 respondents was selected to take part. The data was collected using by use of questionnaires. An intercept personal interview approach was adopted to collect the data for the research. The data was analyzed by use of Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) together with Microsoft Excel. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics where measures like frequency and percentages and the relevant implication of these values were noted. The data presentation was done using frequency distribution tables and charts. These are clear, easy to compute, understand and interpret the findings. The findings of the study revealed that online shopping was a new trend in the Kenyan market and was taking root. Some of the reasons cited for adoption of online shopping include; time saving, easy comparison of alternative products, fairer prices of online goods, expert/user review of products and access to a market without borders. With online shopping one can purchase an item from any part of the world. Some challenges and concerns that need to be addressed as far as online shopping adoption goes were perceived risks negatively influences consumers’ intentions and actual use of e-shopping. Online stores ought to introduce security mechanisms to reduce associated risks. Commonly purchased items on the internet include; Videos/DVDs, Music/CDs, Electronic products (e.g. phones, cameras), Software, Travel (e.g. airline tickets, hotel bookings), and Financial services or Banking. The study provides relevant business advantage in terms of providing insights on how online shopping is being embraced the challenges, and how to improve it. The study also lays a foundation for future research in the area of online shopping adoption in Kenya.