The advances made in the field of information and communication technology in the late twentieth century and early twenty- first century coupled with relatively higher incomes and drop in prices of consumer goods have fueled consumption globally and more importantly the rise of electronic shopping.
Ekwueme and Akagwu (2017) asserted that e- commerce as a business phenomenon revolves mainly around the process of selling and purchasing products or services through the internet using social media sites, e- commerce portals and websites. Boyd and Ellison (2010) maintained that e-commerce signifies a new trend of trade emerging from the recognized and over- bearing usefulness of the internet as an information dissemination tool or platform.
Globally, the increasing rate of internet access and usage even in the developing and under- developed countries combined with the systematic progress of information technology have served to transform the way goods are bought and sold. The result of this combination is a significant increase in the number of online shoppers. Thuyuyen et al (2014) noted that the widespread adoption of e- commerce as a favored medium of commercial retailing is premised on its characteristics of global reach, time independence, interactivity, low organizational set-up cost and easy access. These characteristics have also fueled the growth of e- commerce in Nigeria, with the sector valued at $13 billion as at 2018 and expected to reach around $64 billion by 2025 (Economic Intelligence, 2019).
While the benefits of e- commerce have over the years become apparent, one of the constraints on the industry is the management of the huge customer base. A major characteristic of e- commerce is that the number of customers simultaneously transacting business with an e- commerce venture might reach or even exceed the million-mark. Managing such a huge customer base often require significant commitment of organizational resources and occasionally the customer satisfaction levels are low (Monsuwe, 2004; Chen et al, 2014; Xie et al, 2014). The need to present e- commerce as a more viable method of shopping to consumers as opposed to the traditional brick and mortar stores have therefore encouraged e-commerce firms to place emphasis on achieving high customer satisfaction levels. As Quelch and Jocz (2007) explained, the need to ensure high customer satisfaction levels is magnified by the advent of social media where customers can give feedback which impact significantly on performance.
Ayo (2011) and Ekwueme and Akagwu (2017) reported that the adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) concepts and technology is a major way through which e- commerce companies manage their customers. Over the years, CRM has changed the way companies handle customer inquiries, advertise and sell their products or manage the entire relationship with their customers. As the power of CRM technology has expanded, companies have come to view it as a resource ever more critical to their success in customer management (Messner, 2005). Bull (2003) noted that the benefits of CRM have being instrumental in catapulting such firms as Amazon, Zappos and Alibaba, among others, into market leadership positions.
It is however important to note that as deduced from the failure of some e- commerce ventures in Nigeria including DealDey, Gloo and OLX, customer relationship management is relatively poor. The fact that these businesses have invested in different CRM initiatives is illustrative of Messner (2005)’s opinion that for most businesses CRM is a continuous source of frustration, disappointment and costs. As with any new technology, technology adoption is an important factor in effectiveness. This study therefore attempts to explore the role of technology adoption in enhancing CRM using Jumia (the largest e- commerce site in Nigeria) as a case study.
Aim of the Research
The aim of this research is to contribute to knowledge by exploring the effect of technology adoption in enhancing customer relationship management with Jumia, Nigeria as case example. Achieving this aim is predicated on stating of relevant objectives and derivation of research questions.
Objectives of the Research
In order to achieve the research aim stated above, the relevant research objectives are;
- To undertake a critical review of literature on IMF, with focus on how it has contributed to the development of nations.
- To identify and analyse critically the constraints and success factors of the global financial institution.
- To explore the current use of technology in enhancing customer relationship management in Jumia, Nigeria.
- To examine the extent to which technology adoption can improve customer satisfaction levels and costs minimization of Jumia, Nigeria.
The alignment of research philosophy with the stated aim and objectives of research is important in any study and determines the outcome of study. This study will adopt the pragmatist research philosophy. Bhattacherjee (2012) expressed that the pragmatism philosophic strain combines elements of positivist and interpretive methods. The adopted philosophy will allow the researcher make different linkages between theory and data and utilize such linkages in achieving the objectives of this study.
The adoption of the pragmatism as the underlying philosophy for this study necessitates a mixed method design which is informed by the abductive approach. According to Saunders et al (2016), the abductive approach is applicable in mixed methods design and is based on strengthening the identified weaknesses of the deductive logic underlying positivism and the inductive logic underlying the interpretivism research philosophy. Essentially, the use of the abductive research in this study will allow the use of quantitative methods to support to corroborate and authenticate the findings of qualitative methods.
Research Design and Methods
This research will be adopting mixed methods in the collection of data. Because of its exploratory nature, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection will be utilized. An examination of the effect of technology adoption in enhancing customer relationship management with Jumia, Nigeria as case example is a complex phenomenon with an interplay of variables which cannot be wholly covered by quantitative methods. This makes imperative the use of mixed methods which include questionnaires, and interview schedules to elicit information from selected respondents on relevant objectives and also a case research involving the exploration of relevant literature relating to the purpose of objectives of this study.
There are two sets of population that will be considered for this study. The first population that would be considered for this study is the supervisory and managerial cadre at Jumia, Nigeria. The choice of this population is predicated on the realization that the members of this group are in the best position to provide information on the adoption and utilization of technology in enhancing customer relationship management. The second population are the customers of Jumia. Purposive sampling will be used in selecting the supervisors and managers that will serve as respondents of the study while convenience sampling will be used in selecting the customers.
The quantitative primary and secondary data collected in the study will be analysed using descriptive statistics (frequency counts, percentages and mean score). In analyzing technology adoption, the construct of Technology Acceptance would be analysed. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) which would be adopted in this study has two main constructs; perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use which would be measured using a Likert- type scale and analysed using mean scores.
Reliability and Validity of Research
Validity and reliability are critical factors when considering errors that might influence the results of the study. Validity is conceptualized as how fitting measured variables are to the concepts of the study. Reliability on the other hand is the measure of consistency of a set of variables to what they are intended to measure. The construct validity of this study is ensured by adapting questions and indicators that have being used successfully in past studies (Hair et al, 2006). The procedure of triangulation will also be used in ensuring validity. Reliability will be ensured by utilizing higher number of items for each construct. This is premised on Davis (1989) who noted that a construct that is explained by more items generally produces higher reliability estimates and generalizability.
This study will ensure that the ethical practices and standards stipulated by University of Wales’ Trinity Saint David are complied with, including all ethical committee guidelines, processes and results so that no group nor anyone’s rights is violated to create a negative psychological, social, emotional or physical harm.