oa Alternation - The Changing face of E-Commerce in South Africa: 2001-2004

Volume 12 Number 1b
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



E-Commerce has revolutionized business the world over. South African business has been revolutionized as well. The Internet has created new income generation streams, made communication cheaper, easier and more efficient and the Internet has also provided a new medium for competition and collaboration alike. However, online retailing has seen a slowdown in South Africa since 2001. The aim of this study was to determine whether there have been changes in E-Commerce from 2001 to 2004, and what these changes were. A questionnaire was sent to 122 companies with an Internet presence. This study has revealed that there have been improvements in E-Commerce in South Africa with respect to income generation, customer service and cost reduction. However, it is evident that E-Commerce has not reached its full potential and needs to be given greater strategic importance within corporate plans. Other recommendations included: designing effective web sites, improving online security, expanding infrastructure to a wider audience, improving education and developing an e-culture in the country. This study has shown that there is immense growth potential for E-Commerce in South Africa. However, companies need to be more creative in how they harness the power of the Internet. This challenge is not one for private companies alone but requires public, private partnerships to ensure long term improvements.

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