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Digital commerce in emerging economies: Factors associated with online shopping intentions in Pakistan

Ather Akhlaq (Centre for Medical Informatics, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics​, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Ejaz Ahmed (Computer Science Department, Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 21 September 2015




More research is needed to understand the online shopping behaviors and intentions of consumers in emerging economies. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which key variables from the Technology Acceptance Model (perceived usefulness (PU) and ease of use (PEOU)), and others theoretically associated with digital engagement (distrust, perceived risk (PR), perceived enjoyment (PE) and legal framework (LF)), accounted for variation in online shopping intentions in Pakistan, focussing on affiliates of a large metropolitan university.


Online survey using a convenience sample of university staff, students and alumni recruited through the university’s online network. A questionnaire capturing the above constructs was tested for content validity and reliability prior to dissemination. The survey results were factor analyzed to determine the degree to which the constructs were independent, and regression was used to examine their ability to predict online purchasing intentions. User characteristics were analyzed descriptively.


All six independent factors, PU, PEOU, PR, PE, distrust and LF, in the model were independently predictive of intention to shop online and supported the theoretical model by demonstrating the predicted direction of the relationship.

Research limitations/implications

There are limitations in the generalizability of the findings. Most of the data being collected were only from Karachi, the biggest metropolitan city and the business hub of Pakistan.

Practical implications

This research may help retailers in becoming e-tailers. The model would also help existing e-tailers to streamline their business according to the research findings. In addition, government may work on policies to provide a better online business environment to the people of Pakistan.


A new online shopping model has been discovered for an emerging market, Pakistan. Developing countries could take advantage of this model to get real insights of their e-tailing industry.



The authors would like to thank Dr Claudia Pagliari for her proofreading/editing assistance. Dr Claudia is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Akhlaq, A. and Ahmed, E. (2015), "Digital commerce in emerging economies: Factors associated with online shopping intentions in Pakistan", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 634-647.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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