An investigation of the factors affecting the adoption of e-commerce amongst UK-based retailers

A multitude of opinions has been propounded to explain how the Internet can be exploited by commercial organisations. For the most part they are speculative, visionary or promotional. This work seeks to redress the balance by reporting on an empirical research project that has recently been conducted into the adoption of the Internet within the UK retail sector. More specifically, the research presented in this paper reports on the application of multi-variate statistical techniques to a large set of questionnaire responses, with a view to critically evaluating the factors that affect the adoption of the Internet. It has been shown that certain factors are far more significant than others, in influencing the adoption decision. In particular, it has been demonstrated that operating in an appropriate market sector and having a positive view of the viability of the Internet are of particular significance. Furthermore, the importance of developing a coherent and integrated Internet strategy, the need for senior management commitment, and the presence of an appropriate infrastructure and development capability are also highlighted. In conclusion, the paper summarises the implications of these findings for the development of retail strategy.