An analysis of the factors affecting the adoption of electronic commerce by SMEs

Erdener Kaynak (School of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA)
Ekrem Tatoglu (Faculty of Business Administration, Bahcesehir University, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey)
Veysel Kula (Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyon, Turkey)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The study investigates the internet‐based electronic commerce (EC) adoption profile of small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey as well as the factors affecting their willingness to adopt EC usage.


EC adoption is measured by a composite index of the usage frequency of 14 EC application tools. The study draws on the data obtained from a sample of 237 manufacturing SMEs with internet connection.


In was discovered that EC adoption was significantly influenced by its perceived benefits. However, the perceived limitations of EC applications were found to have no statistically significant effect on EC adoption. The analysis also showed that company and industry‐specific factors, with the exception of amount of resources allocated for export development, did not appear to have any significant impact on EC adoption.

Research limitations/implications

More efforts have to be made to remove or at least mitigate the impediments to a SME's willingness to adopt EC. The results of this study show that the lack of legal regulations is cited as one of the most serious limitations of EC and hence EC is rarely used for payment purposes. One of the most vivid implications of internet‐based EC for SMEs is the potential for external communication and information gathering for market and product research.


This study is significant for two reasons. First, it presents new data and insights into the internet‐based EC adoption of SMEs. Second, this study focuses on a relatively unexplored research area in an emerging market – Turkish SMEs.



Kaynak, E., Tatoglu, E. and Kula, V. (2005), "An analysis of the factors affecting the adoption of electronic commerce by SMEs", International Marketing Review, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 623-640.

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