Harnessing E-commerce’s Potential in Food Product Marketing: A Case Study of Products Produced under the Makerere University Food Technology and Business Incubation Center (FTBIC).
MetadataShow full item record
The digital economy is a growing phenomenon in Uganda. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for online purchase of essential products such as foods. The purpose of this study was to illustrate a way of harnessing the potential of e-commerce by SMEs to market their food products online. The study involved the designing of the front end of a functional e-commerce store and cataloging products produced under the Makerere University Food Technology and Business Incubation Center (FTBIC) by various SME’s through the use of WordPress software, basic HTML and CSS coding. The e-commerce website that was designed was tested for functionality and effectiveness; it was then used to collect data on its usability from potential customers. Data was collected using a post-action survey questionnaire which gathered information on user demographics, internet and online demographics, the usability of the website and intent to transact from the website. The data collected was coded and analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) for Windows (Version 22). Overall the findings of the study indicated that more males than females are agile to internet usage, majority of the respondents spent more than 5 hours browsing the internet (n = 102, 41%), used email quite often (n = 140, 56.2%) and a majority of them had purchased at least one item. WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook were found to be the most used media channels respectively and thus ideal channels for running advertisement campaigns. There was a significant relationship between the intention to transact at the time of the study and the intention to transact in the future by the respondents ( 2 = 265.796, df = 16 and p = 0.000) at p < 0.05. It can therefore be concluded that the created e-commerce website is a tangible alternative for SME’s to market and sell their agro-products in Uganda. This can be realized by SMEs employing cash on delivery payment option and mobile money as an alternative as indicated by the results of the study.