APPLICATION OF E-COMMERCE TO THE SALES OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS IN KENYA

ABSTRACT

 

Construction is known for its conservative attitude towards adopting new technologies. Electronic Business is the use of internet to conduct businesses and ecommerce is transacting online. E-commerce is now global. Ecommerce platform like Amazon is going into sale and marketing of the building materials and construction space. Despite this Africa has been a laggard in ecommerce caused by the lack of physical retail infrastructure and poor uptake and customer lack trust on transactions within and from the continent. The number of construction projects especially in East Africa, Kenya has recorded an increase in the total value of construction projects and real estate construction being major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite the potential growth of E-commerce in Kenya underlined by success mobile payment platforms, impact of social media and rapid growth of construction project. The study seeks to find out the application of E-Commerce to sales of construction materials. Objectively to identify the strategic ebusiness framework used, opportunities and challenges of implementing ecommerce and level of ecommerce penetration. The study used descriptive research design with a target population of 380 respondents. A questionnaire was administered to a sample size of 114 respondents and data was analyzed using Google Form. The response rate was 77% percent. Internet Access, online daily sale transactions, E-commerce tools, Logistic factor, preferred payment. Despite low level of online sales and resistance to change, there was confident penetration of e-commerce by Internet Access as 60% mobile phone, 43% internet and 40% social network. Contractors preferred mobile phone payments. The study concluded that the construction industry need to invest a lot in sales of construction material through implementation of Ecommerce instead of the traditional way of sales. Also concluded that there is needs strategic drives to comprehensive understand ecommerce platform and its customers’ needs. The study recommends on capitalizing on continuous improvement on the Ebusiness framework and integrate to form a consistent, coherent and complete framework. Also the study recommends Cultural and attitudinal change towards technological implementation needs.