Factors Affecting the Implementation of E-marketing in Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Palestine
Qashou, Abeer Mahmoud
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This study investigates the factors affecting the acceptance and implementation of E-marketing in small and medium sized enterprises SMEs– specifically small and medium-sized restaurants SMRs in Palestine and the effect of this implementation on marketing performance from the organization level. The study was applied to the SMRs in Palestine as the restaurants sector is one of the most active and prosperous sectors in Palestine. Potential factors were derived and conceptually-modeled for analysis based on popular acceptance models in literature, namely, Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT). More specifically, three contexts (technological, organizational and environmental) with sixteen factors were hypothesized to influence the acceptance and implementation of E-marketing in SMRs. To conduct the study, the quantitative method was used. Relevant data were collected from a stratified randomly-selected sample of 223 SMRs working in West Bank in Palestine. Data were reported by participants using a self-report questionnaire. Pearson Correlation and multiple linear regression were employed to analyze the collected data using Minitab. The results from Person Correlations indicate that all the individual hypothesized factors have positive significant impact on E-marketing implementation and the strongest related factors are relative advantage, market scope, organizational readiness and top management support. While the regression analysis model shows that collectively, only three factors, namely, relative advantage (technological context), customer pressure (environmental context) and market scope (environmental context) have significant positive impact on E-marketing implementation. Besides, the regression analysis shows that E-marketing acceptance and implementation has a positive significant impact on marketing performance. The implications of the findings in this study which would benefit all interested stakeholders in SMRs are also highlighted. Some recommendations are also suggested for those concerned to raise the level of implementation such as increasing the awareness of the importance of E-marketing implementation, motivating employees, holding educational courses and workshops, providing the necessary financial, human and technological resources, providing a legal supportive environment for E-marketing, providing financial facilities for SMRs and establishing a real partnership between SMRs, government, competent Ministries and E-marketing providers. Keywords: E-marketing, Small and Medium-Sized Restaurants (SMRs), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT), Technology-Organization Environment (TOE), Marketing performance.