International Journal of Cases on Electronic Commerce
- Ali Bahrami
- International Journal of Cases on Electronic…
The use of the Internet for business purposes among small businesses started quite early in the e-commerce evolution. In the beginning, innovative and entrepreneurial owners of small businesses attempted to use rudimentary Internet tools such as electronic mail (e-mail) and file transfer protocol (FTP) to exchange messages and documents. While primitive, it fulfilled much of the business needs at the time. Even to date, email and document exchange, according to some of the latest research findings, are still the most commonly used tools despite the fact that tools themselves have become more sophisticated. There has been a plethora of research on smallbusiness use of the Internet and e-commerce in general. Some of the earlier research can be traced back to the mid-1990s, when small-business e-commerce was in its infancy (e.g., Abell & Lim, 1996; Cronin, Overfelt, Fouchereaux, Manzvanzvike, Cha, & Sona, 1994; Fuller & Jenkins, 1995; Poon & Swatman, 1995), and when this chapter was written, articles were still being published in this area around the world. While the findings are many and varied, there are a number of highlights. Essentially, four groups of factors had been commonly found to influence the adoption of e-commerce among small businesses (see Figure 1).