Electronic Marketplace (EM) has diminished the gap between big players and small players. Now, even a small business can compete with an established one by registering with an EM such as Amazon and Flipkart. EM provides a distinctive worldwide prospect for smaller merchants that can benefit from the affiliate channels within these marketplaces. Smaller businesses face the disadvantage of huge spend by bigger rivals for marketing, which can be countered to some extent through EM. Joining an EM gives them the added advantage of advanced technological infrastructure and website traffic that is usually high in EM as compared to discrete websites. In India, apparel and home décor categories are growing at a similar pace as the fast-paced electronic products category; many small merchants from metro and non-metro cities are trying to make their mark with infrastructure support provided by EM. There are a number of empirical studies conducted based on behavioral outcome of consumers with respect to ecommerce and EMs. However, only a few studies measured merchants' intention to adopt e-marketplace. Furthermore, hardly any empirical studies have discussed intention of small-scale merchants belonging to the home décor and apparel segments in the Indian context. The present study fills this gap and presents an analysis of factors affecting receptivity of EM by small sellers. The paper used SEM-ANN approach to test all linear and non-linear relationships in the conceptual model. Effectiveness of the UTAUT model in context of associated Indian small-scale sellers is validated and extended with additional constructs. Findings indicate that the benefits and supporting services, followed by environmental pressure, are the most influencing determinants for participating small sellers belonging to the home décor and apparel segments. Additionally, the significant moderating effect of sellers' category shows the unique contribution of the present study. Relevance of these factors is discussed from small sellers/electronic market perspectives. The study makes a theoretical contribution that helps electronic sellers to understand the challenges and expectations from electronic marketplace adoption in India. In this sense, awareness about adoption benefits of EM services would also be created among the sellers by marketplaces.


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pp. 1-41
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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