The aim of the following paper is to design an appropriate research proposal on the topic of opportunities and issues of social electronic commerce or E-commerce in the retail industry. The topic that has been considered for the present research proposal discusses about the growing trend of adopting E-commerce among retail organizations and all the risks associated with applying E-commerce in the retail business. The following research proposal will design the fundamental research objective, research question and identify the possible scope of doing a research study on the concerned topic. Moreover, a possible time schedule for accomplishing the research objectives and most convenient methods for conducting the research will be outlined too. At the same time, the following research proposal will identify all the possible hurdles, which can derail the research to reach to its proposed aim.
2. Project objective
The aim of the proposed business research will be to identify and evaluate the opportunities as well as issues of pursuing social electronic commerce in the retail sector. Considering the distinct aim of the proposed business research paper, the possible research objectives will be the following –
- To identify the advantages and issues of pursuing social electronic commerce
- To identify the advantages the social electronic commerce brings to the retail customers
- To the frequent problems faced by the retail customers who use online shopping
- To identifying the ways of mitigating the problems related to social electronic commerce in retail shopping
3. Project scope
It is being anticipated that after pursuing the considered research, a profound understanding regarding the fundamental concepts and techniques of pursuing e-commerce or social electronic business. By doing a research study on the considered topic, the research paper will get an idea about how much retail organizations of the contemporary world is using the electronic and social media for their business and what benefits they are obtaining from it. Further, a cohesive understanding would be acquired regarding the convenient ways of mitigating problems, which are frequent in social electronic business.
4. Literature review
It has been identified that the rate of using social electronic commerce in the retail sector are growing on a fast pace. Most of the retail organizations are integrating the social electronic commerce for promoting business activities as well as to engage their target audience and existing customers in making flexible communication with the organization (Iglesias-Pradas et al. 2013). Further, it has been understood that the social networking applications are widely used by the contemporary retail organizations for purchasing as well as selling retail products all over the world through online. The most significant aspect of social electronic commerce is, the popularity of the social networking sites are counted on the number of visitors, they have (Niranjanamurthy et al. 2013). The number of visitors of a social networking site is indicative of the amount of relevant and attractive information available in the site regarding a particular subject or a product. Therefore, it can be said that the social electronic commerce works like a marketing tool for business organizations. One of the advantages of pursuing social electronic commerce is it saves an organization economically, as marketing through online social media saves money as well as time (Ozaki and Vasconcellos 2015). One of the most beneficial aspects of e-commerce is, it helps in making a convenient user interface, which is essential for increasing brand awareness of a product or service. Most significantly, through online business, an organization can pursue the buying and selling activity for twenty four seven (Turban et al. 2015). Therefore, online business can be considered to be an aspect that works efficiently to minimize operation cost as well as play the role of a medium to reach out to a huge extent of customers. Nevertheless, the biggest threat that E-commerce or social online business bears is the risk of hacking. The illegal act of hacking is one of the most frequently applied ways of attacking ecommerce sites, an individual’s profile and service as well as payment gateways. By pursuing social online commerce, a business organization is always prone to attack by unknown users. At the same time, in online business, an organization could not provide the opportunity to experience a product or service prior to purchase to its customers. Moreover, in social electronic media of business, several individual feel that they are being subjected to irrelevant information, which they do not like to see.
The review has indicated the fact that there is the need to have an empirical study to know the organizational perspective regarding the advantages and disadvantages of social electronic commerce in the retail sector. Most of the identified literatures have either talked about advantages of e-commerce or disadvantages of it. Very few literatures are there, which have considered the customer perspectives from the retail sector. Therefore, there is a need for undergoing research on the considered topic.
5. Research questions
Considering the fundamental research objectives those have been designed above, the primary research question, which the research study will concentrate on, would be –
Primary question -What are opportunities and risks related to social electronic commerce?
However, following the fundamental objectives, the secondary questions would be -
Q.1 What are the advantages the social electronic commerce brings to the customers?
Q.2 What are the frequent problems faced by the customers who use online shopping?
Q.4 What are the ways of mitigating the problems related to social electronic commerce?
6. Research Design (Methodology)
The aim of the research paper is to identify the opportunities as well as the problems related to social electronic commerce; there understandably the research will require primary data from some of the contemporary organizations. On the other side, there is the need to have a coherent understanding about the fundamental concepts and aspects about e-commerce or social online commerce.
Data Collection Method and Sample Size
For the purpose of the research, the methodology of the research would be integrated by both qualitative and quantitative methods. Therefore, the research will conduct a data collection method, which will be integrated by both primary and secondary data collection methods. In terms of pursuing primary data collection method, the research study would pursue telephonic interviews with six managers of different departments and different contemporary business organization.
In this context, it is essential to mention that fundamentally, there are two types of data collection as well as analysis methods, which are essentially two parts of the primary research. These are the qualitative and the quantitative methods. The quantitative research method mainly emphasizes on the measurements of the objectives and pursues a statistical, mathematical or numerical data analysis. The collection of the quantitative data is done through surveys, online questionnaire, polls and through manipulating the statistical data, which is pre-existing (Flick 2015). On the other hand, the qualitative research is mainly known for an exploratory research that is applied in order to acquire an in-depth understanding of underlying opinions, motivations as well as reasons. With the help of qualitative research method, researchers get a through insight into a particular problem and they can thereafter establish hypothesis for further potential research in a quantitative manner (Mackey and Gass 2015). However, it should be mentioned here that the qualitative data analysis is based on the Ground theory. The qualitative data mainly generated through narratology, transcript poetry and classical ethnography. Various times, qualitative data collection is done through governmental studies, service demonstrations and participant observation (Brinkmann 2014).
On the other hand, in quantitative data analysis, data is gained from large population and statistical analysis thereafter reflects a general response of the population. For the current purpose, qualitative data analysis would be convenient, as the paper needs to have the underlying opinions of individuals.
Research Philosophy and Approach
For the current research topic, a deductive approach will be applied as per the reason, that the research does want to deduce a generalized understanding about the advantages as well as disadvantages of e-commerce in the retail industry. The inductive research approach will not be applied as per the reason that the aim of the research paper has not aimed to invent a new theory or concept.
In order to accomplish the purpose of the present research, the interpritivism philosophy as the paper requires human speculations. The interpritivism philosophy has been taken as the study will be entirely dependent upon the human interest as well as their experiences in the study.
Instruments of Data Collection and Data Analysis Method
Therefore, the sample size will be six managers and the research instrument would be telephone and electronic recorder. As per the reason that in terms of primary data collection, the research paper will proceed with interviews, qualitative analysis method will be applied.
Inclusive and Exclusive Criteria
However, in terms of conducting secondary data collection, the research paper would collect as well as analyze thematic data, which will be collected from varied journal articles and newspaper article and business review papers. In this concern, it is to mention that in terms of inclusive criteria, the research paper would collect data from articles and business research reports, which have been published after 2012 and 2013. Moreover, as it would be an empirical study, the research paper would conduct the study in a deductive approach along through a descriptive style.
7. Research limitation
It can be anticipated that as per the reason, the research paper needs data or perspective of varied business manager, it would not be easy to get in touch with them and get their consent regarding the interview at the first place. Therefore, resistance from the managers would be possibly one of the chief hurdles that the researcher may face. Moreover, a limited time as well as a limited budget would affect the research progress too.
The above research proposal is indicative of the fact that the proposed research will concentrate on the aim of identifying the opportunities, advantages and issues related to social electronic commerce. Therefore, according to the above proposal, the secondary objectives will be to identify customer perception regarding the advantages and problems related to e-commerce. The research proposal has further mentioned that in order to collect data, both primary and secondary data collection procedure would be applied.
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