The dramatic impact of Internet-based electronic commerce is attracting a great deal
of attention in the business world. It is a reality that Internet-based electronic
commerce is still in its infancy and it will take a few more years or a decade before it
becomes a full medium of business operations. However, many long vision
organisations are implementing Internet-based electronic commerce (e -commerce) in
their business operations in order to be able to cope, survive and obtain competitive
advantage in this very dynamic, and rapidly changing global business environment.
E-commerce refers to moving business-related operations and transactions from
paper-based to a fully electronic (digital) environment over the Internet.
Therefore, as we enter the third millennium, business operations all around the
world are starting to move inevitably from the traditional method to the Internet-based
electronic commerce. Threat or opportunity, e-commerce over the Internet
will change the way we do business. The development of Internet-based e-commerce
might be seen as one of the most exciting trends in the business
Research shows that almost every organisation that wants to stay in business beyond
the turn of the century must re-evaluate every aspect of its strategy and operations
from customer service to marketing, product development to retailing, and logistics
to distribution and all value-added supply chain business processes. That is why
Internet-based e-commerce is essential for companies entering a virtual distribution
marketplace to survive in this very competitive business environment.
This study attempts to identify, examine, analyse, test and empirically determine the
strategic critical (key) success factors (CSFs) in order to develop a comprehensive
model for successful implementation of Internet-based e-commerce in business
operations. CSFs were considered in this research from the perspective of Internet-based
e-commerce user companies' executives and managers. There is no previous
and specific study on the critical success factors for the implementation of Internet-based
electronic commerce at the time of this study.
This research consists of two parts. In order to realise the research purpose, the study
employed two Focus Group sessions, a pilot-test (pre-test) followed by a
comprehensive quantitative survey. Questionnaires were mailed to CEOs, Directors
and IS/E-commerce executives/managers from randomly selected e-commerce user
companies in Australia. There was no comprehensive business index available for e-commerce
user companies at the time of this research. Therefore, e-commerce user
companies were randomly selected from the Internet by using one of the most
powerful and popular search engines, Yahoo!
The collected data was examined for validity and reliability. Statistical tests included
descriptive analysis, Chi-Square goodness-of-fit, canonical correlation analysis,
factor analysis, and regression analysis. As a result of the statistical analysis, the top
ten critical success factors for Internet-based e-commerce implementation success
were identified. The ten CSFs were statistically significant for e-commerce
implementation success and supported the proposed original research model.
The expected contribution of this study is to identify and provide knowledge on key
or critical success factors for companies who have already implemented or plan to
implement Internet-based e-commerce in their business operations. The
recommended key strategic success factors for Internet-based e-commerce
implementation enables executives, managers or practitioners (implementors) to use
effectively and efficiently these strategic factors when planning, developing and
implementing an e-commerce business operations system over the Internet. This
study also provides a basic knowledge for further research on CSF and e-commerce
implementation. E-commerce user companies may also benefit from the results and
may be able to utilise the critical success factors for planning purposes.
Further, this research, like any other research, is subject to a number of limitations.
However, this is the first study of its kind as far as the researcher is aware. The
findings are clear and significantly supported by statistical analysis. Additional
research is however needed for better understanding of this new medium of digital
Finally, a model was developed to present the most critical success factors for
successful implementation of Internet-based e-commerce in business operations. It
may be said that the developed model is one of the first developments in this field.