In 2005). Online shopping in the Middle East

In this paper the main focus will be
on the e-commerce and the factors that are affecting it in the Middle East and
the main two focus countries will be Jordan And UAE as they are considered to
be in the circle of emerging markets but in a two different levels.


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Electronic commerce (EC) or e-commerce
systems use the latest tools for automating and streamlining the flow of
transactions between companies and individuals, for example letters, inquiries,
payments and delivery notes. EC systems transfer information between computer systems
and enable users to integrate their functions, activities and procedures with unprecedented
accuracy and speed .EC systems can be divided into two levels (Sahawneh, 2005).

Online shopping in the Middle East is
rapidly evolving and has grown by 1500% over the last decade. With a dynamic
young population and with one of the highest global per capita internet
penetration levels the online spending potential is quickly emerging as one of
the highest in the world (

Internet World Stats (2017) states
that the number of internet users globally is approximately 3.9 Billion worldwide,
and 147 million in the Middle East. This revolution in E-commerce is proved
through the frequency in which the organizations have taken their opportunities
to use the internet for commercial purposes

In developing countries, the growth
in use of the internet and the WWW offers good opportunities for economic
growth and development. Bajaj et al. (2001, p. 363) have suggested that there
is a need for developing countries, if they wish to match growth in the
developed world, to “overcome the dangers of isolation and polarization” by
improving their information infrastructure. Thus, the best promise for growth
in developing countries is through the development of information technology
(IT) industries and greater social applications of IT. At the same time, these
IT industries must be compatible with local conditions and conducive to industrialization
.Since most studies in the ?eld have been conducted in developed countries,
there is scope for further research in the conditions prevalent in developing
countries such as Jordan.


E-commerce in Jordan

Two studies have mainly focused on
Jordan’s position in e-commerce world First Sahawneh(2003) even though this
study has abided more on the Benefits of E-commerce in Jordan than the
limitations and factors that might affect the process of e-commerce, Second was
the Jordanian Chamber of Commerce when it contended that e-commerce in Jordan
is not fully ready and it at an early stage and needs more development. Though
both studies shows limitations to the existing e-commerce potential in Jordan,
they didn’t shown evidences based on an academic research to build their
studies but as an alternative they suggested that the main limitations in
Jordan’s are language barriers, underdeveloped legal protection, high costs,
unresolved payment solutions, underdeveloped logistics and limiting government

In this report the steps of those
studies will be emphasized based on other new reports and articles with a
relation to Jordan’s e-commerce.

Jordan is a successful model as a
developing country; give the responsive engagement of the international
community. Jordan is considered one of the major players in the Middle East,
especially in economics and politics (Naser, 1998). This may be due, in part,
to its focusing on the application of e-commerce, and IT. Sahawneh (2003)
mentions that B2B e-commerce applications in Jordan are incorporated mostly into
transactions undertaken between a few Jordanian institutions with non-Jordanian

Jordan was ranked as 54th
out of 68 countries in its information technology and information system
readiness rankings in The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010) reports. And this
can be noticed as an indicator that organizations in Jordan might or mostly
will meet the requirements and conditions to 
conduct e-commerce systems, although in this paper our focus will
demonstrate the obstacles that face those organizations some of those factors
are internal such as strategy experiences and perceptions of the origination’s management,
while pointing on some external factors such as  readiness of local and global trading partners
to adapt e-commerce systems and the external pressure by local and global
trading partners who adopt e-commerce systems, including the infrastructure,
network availability and online transactions. There are five primary economic
sectors in Jordan: industrial, services, trade, agriculture and construction

Jordan is being highly driven and
motivated towards upgrading its infrastructure in order to accelerate full
readiness for e-commerce and its systems adaption, identifying all of the
benefits of e-commerce and its applications especially on the e-government
approach. AL-Jaghoub and westrup(2003) stated that the Jordanian methodologies
toward the adaption and development of Information and communication
technologies segment as a part of competitiveness, which makes it put its own
signature on the highly globalized world, by applying the latest technologies
to communication services and other governmental and non-governmental sectors
such as Internet service providers (Orange ,Zain ,Umniah), national information
center, E-Banking and e-government, this leaded to a boosted profile of the
Jordanian companies in e-commerce

Factors affecting Jordan’s

In recent years most of small to big
sized companies especially banks in Jordan are relying on e-commerce on its
daily processes and transactions completion, this can be considered as a part
and result of the IT revelation that affects both sides developed and
developing counties around the world, Jordan is being highly affected by this
revolution and trying its best to get all the advantages possibly available,
yet there is a gap that appears between Jordan and developed countries in the
adaption of this revolution in all types of firms not only on a specified level
or sector ,this gap is due to many factors that will be mentioned below in this

1.     Technological (technical) factors.

Turban et al. (2010, p. 27)
review the technical limitations of e-commerce as insuf?cient system security,
reliability, standards, and limited communication protocols. They suggest that in
many areas, telecommunications bandwidths need to be upgraded.

Those factors were described in
(Humphyeys, Mclvor and Huang, 2003) as the issues related to acquiring
appropriate technologies to meet business requirements. These factors could
prohibit firm’s especially smaller businesses from adopting e-commerce such as
online banking.


Indeed, a number of studies indicated
that technical issues especially those related to information security and
information technology risks were restraining the adoption of e-commerce (Sulaiman,
2000; Lawson et al., 2013). These factors include positive impact on e-commerce
specifically on security and privacy of users, as users of e-commerce take
security and privacy very seriously and as the most important and crucial
things to be available in order to make their e-commerce decisions.

 (Selz and Schubert, 1997). G. Lohse and P.
Spiller (1998) looked at it in two different ways: on one hand, protection of
transactional details of customers, on the other – privacy of personal
information of the respondents.

2.     Non-technical Factors.

The non-technical limitations of
e-commerce, according to Turban et al. (2010, p. 27) are ?rst the high cost of e-commerce
in-house development, especially if lack of expertise leads to errors and
delays. Second is the lack of customer con?dence in making faceless electronic
?nancial transactions which suggest insuf?cient security and privacy. Third the
sensitive governmental rules and regulations that may delay the development of
e-commerce process.

Kotab and Helsen (2001) recognized
six barriers or limitations to international e-commerce; those barriers are language,
culture, availability of personal computers, computer literacy and knowledge,
access charges, and government regulations.

Based on different theories and
articles it is clearly showed that the Limitations or factors that affects
e-commerce in Jordan are the same on the global market with a little bit of difference
due to some cultural or it can be said as the mindset of e-commerce users in Jordan,

Those limitations can be summed as
main limitations under the following:

1.     security and trust

2.     internet experience

3.     enjoyment

4.     language

5.     legal issues

6.     And technology acceptance (ease of use and usefulness).


A research was done by Muneer Abbad ,Rami
Abbad, and Malik Saleh (2011) that showed up exactly the factors that are
really limiting the usage of e-commerce in Jordan, (Abbad,saleh 2011) presented
by A delivery and collection questionnaire was used as a method for obtaining
data from e-commerce customers contacted through a number of universities.
Having been given a brief overview of the study, those customers who kindly
agreed to co-operate and complete the questionnaires formed the sample for the
study. The study was conducted in Arabic, the spoken language in Jordan.
Undergraduate students at two Jordanian universities were represented in the
sample for this research. The students were chosen on the basis of their
familiarity with the internet. And who also did not use the internet for shopping
in order to study the behavioral factors limiting the employment of e-commerce.
Access to this sample was relatively straightforward. The questionnaire used in
this study consisted of main three sections. The ?rst gave brief information
about the research, the second included questions regarding participant
demographics, and the third contained questions which explored the
participants’ perceptions of the main limitations of e-commerce. The
Statistical Package for Social Science was used to analyze the data collected
from the questionnaires. The statistical methods used were Cronbach’s to check
the reliability of the data measured, descriptive statistics (such as
frequencies, ratios, mean, SD, etc.), and one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA).
– (Abbad,
Saleh 2011).

They Concluded and Discussed that the
main Limitations of e-commerce in jordan seemed to be non-technical factors,
the cause for this result were estimated to be due to the lack of technical awareness
by consumers and mainly by students, in relation to this matter they mentioned
that the Jordanian government aimed to resolve those limitations by focusing on
the legal issues associated with the use of e-commerce For example, the
government published the ?rst law in 2001 to protect customers who use e-commerce
sites. Furthermore the ministry of education has begun teaching courses in
seconmdary schools to increase the level of awareness of the benefits of
e-commerce and the knowledge of how to deal with any issues related to
e-commerce efficiently.