E-COMMERCE USAGE IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR OF ZIMBABWE
This research explored the use of e-commerce in the pharmaceutical sector of Zimbabwe. More specifically, it looked at e-commerce technologies being used in the sector, uses of e-commerce technologies, usage level of e-commerce technologies, benefits and barriers of e-commerce usage. The study followed an exploratory research design wherein a questionnaire was used as the main research tool. Data was gathered from 33 pharmaceutical companies and analysed using SPSS. It was found out that slightly more than 50 percent of pharmaceutical companies had websites. Also, most popular uses of e-commerce technologies were e-mailing, generation of direct sales, provision of customer service and support, price comparison, purchasing and ordering and internal communications. In addition, the World Wide Web and instant messaging emerged as the most widely used technologies in the sector. The benefits of ecommerce usage identified include provision of high quality information needed for business operations, increasing interdepartmental and inter-organisational coordination which leads to increased productivity. Lastly, the cost of e-commerce technology equipment, absence of a company’s website, complexity of e-commerce technologies and privacy related issues came out as the strongest e-commerce usage barriers in the sector.
Ngonidzashe Zanamwe, Mazvita Bere, Claude Zungura, Simbisanai Ashleigh Nyamakura, Beatrice Muchangani