E-Commerce and M-Commerce in the UAE Market

Research Background

As the world becomes a global village, information sharing is efficient and very cost-effective. At present, just by a click of a button in a search engine, information becomes available. This has been made possible through the invention and integration of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE market. Although the process of integration has been gradual, more than 60% of the UAE market is aware of e-Commerce and m-Commerce and are active users of these platforms (Bill 21). Therefore, e-Commerce and m-Commerce have become a necessity since they permit clients to exchange goods electronically with zero barriers of distance or time within the UAE and beyond. Over the last half of the previous decade, e-Commerce and m-Commerce have experienced rapid expansion which is predicted to positively accelerate further in the future, especially in the UAE.

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In the modern business environment, technology has necessitated the need for optimal performance by reducing overhead costs and maximizing profit in the process (Liebermann & Stashevsky, 294). E-Commerce and m-Commerce are the most cost-effective and efficient means of transacting business in the UAE. Therefore, prospects of e-Commerce and m-Commerce are promising in all sectors of the UAE business environment inspired by the need for efficient transactions at minimal cost in time and resources. Therefore, this research paper will attempt to review the transformation of e-Commerce and m-Commerce in terms of value and usefulness in the UAE over the last decade. Based on the findings, the proposal will predict the possible impact of the technological shift on e-Commerce and m-Commerce in the coming decade following the partnership between the government of the UAE and other stakeholders.

Research Problem

As technological advancement improves, e-Commerce and m-Commerce are likely to widen further in the UAE business environment. Consequently, it will be cheaper and easier to operate and open online stores “without a brick-and-mortar presence” (Bill 29). Also, E-commerce offers entrepreneurial opportunities to persons in all business fields. The recorded sales data estimate progress at 4% annually across the UAE (Baskerville, 27). Despite this impressive data, little information exists on the growth of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE from the government-stakeholder matrix and technological progress. Therefore, this research paper will address the above-mentioned challenge by explicitly establishing the emergence of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE in the last decade, their benefits, and potential growth path in the future.

Research Objectives

The objectives of the proposed research are summarized as;

  1. To analyze the overall increase of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE in the last decade and its contribution to the country’s economic growth
  2. To review the potential factors that have promoted the growth of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE in the last decade.
  3. To review the contributions by the government and other stakeholders in the development and acceptance of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE.

Hypotheses

The main hypothesis for this research would be that the growth of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE is associated with overall technological progress around the world and within the country, in addition to the government’s and other stakeholders’ contributions to the development and acceptance of these progressive commerce formats within the UAE.

The null hypothesis would then be that the growth of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE has no connection to the overall technological progress rates and the government’s actions but can be explained through other factors and means.

An alternative hypothesis is that while technological progress and governmental support played an important role in the assimilation of e-Commerce and m-Commerce within the UAE’s economic model, this transition would have happened anyway due to overall transformations happening in the global market.

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Methodology

The research will rely on the primary method of data collection through the research survey approach. The research will be carried out through semi-structured interview questions that are open and close-ended. The researcher will carry out one-on-one interviews with respondents who are available and can allocate fifteen minutes to issue a response. The researcher will use qualitative and quantitative approaches because the scope of the research is focused, subjective, dynamic, and discovery-oriented. The qualitative approach is best suited to gain proper insight into the situation of the case study.

Dependent and Independent Variables

Identifying dependent and independent variables is crucial for any research, as these variables would determine what kinds of tests would be used to derive statistical data from them (Takeaki & Bimal, 255). Dependent variables are the variables our research is interested in observing, while independent variables are those that affect dependent variables positively or negatively (Takeaki & Bimal, 255).

Dependent variables for this research would include the increases in e-Commerce and m-Commerce in UAE for the past decade and their contributions to the country’s economy. These variables are important as they will allow us to prove or disprove the hypotheses stated earlier in this research proposal, as they will indicate the results. This data will be extracted from corresponding peer-reviewed literature and other sources of reliable statistics, such as government sources and reports on economics.

Independent variables, on the other hand, would be much more numerous. Here we can include the rates of digitization of markets in UAE and around the world, government policies, actions of stakeholders, technological progress rates, and spread of personal communication devices and computers inside and outside of UAE (Cameron & Trividi, 106).

Quantitative methods used in this study will generally apply in the analysis of the collected data where analytical tools such as chi-square, t-tests, regression, and correlation methodologies will be used (Cameron & Trividi, 106).

Interview Questions

As it was stated in the methodology section of this paper, the primary method of data collection for this research is a semi-structured personal one-on-one interview, with open-ended and close-ended questions. The respondents would-be owners of commercial websites and managers of businesses and stores that have an e-commerce outlet in the UAE. Here is the list of questions that should be addressed during the said interview (Fowler, 76):

  1. When did you open your e-commerce site?
  2. What were the reasons for investing in e-commerce?
  3. What was the dynamic of your internet-based sales for the past decade?
  4. How did government policies affect your e-commerce?
  5. What are the current barriers and inhibitors of promoting internet-based stores and products in UAE?
  6. Did the number of your direct competitors increase over the years?
  7. Are you planning to invest in more e-commerce projects in the future?

These questions will help perceive the dynamics of how the respondents and their sites grew and improved in the last decade, and whether or not factors mentioned in this research had any influence on their decisions and success. Responder groups should be differentiated based on how old their e-commerce projects are and how much customer coverage they have. This will allow us to accurately spot tendencies in UAE e-commerce and their fluctuations from one year to another.

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To maintain ethical considerations and protect the privacy of all respondents, they will not be forced to disclose any sensitive information, nor they will be asked to divulge their names, and the names of their sites will be excluded from the research. All questions were formulated in a non-intrusive manner. Lists of respondents will not be disclosed to third parties or mentioned anywhere in this research.

The advantage of this methodology is that it will offer first-hand statistical information that was not available through other means such as literature, books, and other official statistics. It will allow seeing government reforms and changes in the technological climate, from an e-commerce entrepreneur’s perspective. The weakness of this method is that it is limited by ethical considerations and that the responder base may inaccurately represent the stratus that is being researched.

Works Cited

Baskerville, Richard. International E-business Marketing, Alabama, Al: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2011. Print.

Bill, Horace. History of E-commerce: Your Expert Guide to E-Commerce, Online Retailing & Internet Marketing, Los Angeles, California: K&A Press, 2013. Print.

Cameron, Colin and Pravin Trividi. Regression Analysis of Count Data. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Fowler, Floyd. Survey Research Methods. Sage, 2014.

Liebermann, Young and Sinl Stashevsky. “Perceived Risks as Barriers to Internet and E-commerce Usage.” Qualitative Market Research 5.4 (2009): 291-300. Print.

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Takeaki, Kariya and Bimal Sinha. Robustness of Statistical Tests. Academic Press, 2014.

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