Internet and e-commerce adoption among SME non-traditional
exporters: case studies of Ghanaian handicraft exporters

University essay from LuleƄ/Business Administration and Social Sciences

Abstract: The Internet has become an extremely important modern day technology for
business. The use and application of Internet based technologies in
commerce, is claimed to be undergoing extraordinary growth, with the World
Wide Web said to be significantly altering the manner that traditional
commerce is undertaken. The use of the Internet for export marketing enables
export firms to leapfrog the conventional stages, as it removes all
geographical constraints, permits the instant establishment of virtual
branches throughout the world, and allows direct and immediate foreign
market entry to the smallest of businesses.

The purpose of this study was to describe and assess the role of the
Internet to the handicraft exporters in Ghana and to gain better
understanding of how non-traditional exporters, especially, the small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) have adopted the Internet and e-commerce. Again
their levels of Internet and e-commerce adoption in their business
activities were also assessed. The study was a qualitative research and was
conducted using interview guide to conduct interviews in two companies for
the case studies. The data was analysed using within case and cross case
analysis to identify how the companies fared, the similarities and
differences that existed between the companies with respect to the factors
that can affect their Internet and e-commerce adoption as well as their
levels of Internet and e-commerce adoption.

The conclusion of this study was that most of the SMEs in the developing
countries are at the e-mail adoption level with just a few at the Internet
presence. Moreover, some of the small exporting handicraft firms as well as
other exporting firms from other sectors in Ghana have not fully adopted
Internet and e-commerce for their exporting activities.