About the Challenges to Start E-Commerce Activity in SMEs: Push-Pull Effects

About the Challenges to Start E-Commerce Activity in SMEs: Push-Pull Effects

Rauno Rusko (University of Lapland, Finland) and Joni Pekkala (University of Lapland, Finland)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6074-8.ch026
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Abstract

This chapter introduces the challenges that SMEs face while starting e-commerce activity in the Northern Finland context. Based on the project results, six interviews, and the preliminary outcomes of the questionnaire, this study focuses on push-pull effects to start e-commerce activities. Following this framework, the structure of this study is twofold. At first, the authors ask why a firm, which already has an existing traditional brick-and-mortar shop, would develop its business exploiting digital solutions and e-commerce. In other words, what is the attainable incremental value for this kind of firm via e-commerce? Second, what kinds of attractive possibilities will e-commerce provide for the business of the firm? Both of these perspectives are concentrated on the phase in which the firm takes in the use e-commerce activities. The authors study this phase, basing the analysis on the literature review, questionnaire, and six interviews of SME entrepreneurs. The outcomes of this chapter show the relevance of push-pull perspective in the studies about the first steps of e-commerce.
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Literature Review

This part of the chapter is basing on two parts. At first, it is focused on the literature introducing first steps of E-commerce and then literature emphasizing the reasons for E-commerce. We are interested these themes generally and in the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) especially.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Push-Pull Effect: Factors which push from the initial state towards better opportunities and factors which pull because of their attractive characteristics towards the future state of business.

SCM: Supply chain management.

Emergent Strategy: Strategy, which is not actually planned. Emergent strategy is part of the “learning school” among the strategy schools.

E-Commerce: Commercial activities associated with Internet or Web-based platforms in different forms.

Brick-and-Mortar Shop: Traditional shop where the customers have possibility to buy products and services.

SMEs: Small and medium sized enterprises.

ERP: Enterprise resource planning.

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