In the last few decades, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs)
have deeply affected the way business is performed and the way that organizations
compete (Porter, 1985, 2001, cited by Buhalis
and Licata, 2002). Although, mobile technologies were considered as
luxurious products in the past, undoubtedly, the use of wireless and mobile
networks and devices, experiences a substantial growth during the past years.
From 1990 onwards, conducting business has been changed potentially within the
emergence of e-commerce for both consumers and businesses (Ngai and Gunasekaran, 2007) which can reach
their customers at any time and geographic location. E-commerce refers to all
Mobile commerce or m-commerce is defined as any direct or indirect
transaction with a potential monetary value conducted via wireless telecommunication
networks (Wu and Wang, 2005 cited by AlHinai,
Kurnia and Johnston, 2007) and
it can be considered as a subset of e-commerce. The major differences between m-commerce and other forms of e-commerce
are mobility and accessibility. This means, that when users
conduct e-commerce such as online purchases, they don’t need to use a personal
computer system. They can complete these e-commerce activities, by using some mobile handheld
devices such as laptops, smart phones, net books, tablet computers and smart
devices-Internet of things. My research will concern the use of mobile devices
in m-commerce. Many researchers have attempted to identify the implications of
customer behavior and acceptance of technology on various m-commerce
applications and services, mentioned below in the paper.
The purpose of this paper is to present the area that I am going to
research. At first, in the literature review the factors that led me choosing
this topic for investigation are mentioned. Some statistics as well are
provided. Then, the research question is exposed and finally the chosen
theoretical framework which will support the progress of my research is mentioned.
Wireless technology creates huge business
opportunities via the wireless infrastructure in terms of
communications, transactions, purchasing, entertainment, trading, etc (Kleijnen, Wetzels and de Ruyter, 2004). Varshney
and Vetter(2002) identified some important m-commerce applications like mobile
financial applications, mobile advertising, mobile inventory management,
locating and shopping for products, proactive service management, wireless
re-engineering, mobile auctions or reverse auctions, mobile entertainment
services and games, mobile offices, mobile distance education, and wireless
data centers. The industries which are
more affected by the electronic commerce are those in which service and information
play an important role in the buying process, like banking, travel and
commodity products (Bloch and
Tourism is a sizable
industry in the B2C context, as it involves numerous consumers worldwide. It constitutes
an information-based business and at the moment of decision making, only an
abstract model of the product is available, based on information gathered from
different sources, like the web, word-of mouth, brochures or television. As a result, tourism products include high information search costs
(Werthner and Ricci, 2004). E-tourism refers
to the digitalization of all processes and value chains in the tourism, travel,
hospitality and catering industries (Buhalis and Deimezi, 2004).
By any measure, travel reservations constitute one of
the largest and fastest growing segments of electronic commerce (Bernstein and
Awe, 1999 cited by Werthner,
2003). It is worth to mention that consumers can use the Internet
through their mobile devices either as an information channel for collecting
travel-related information or for making travel reservations. The online
booking approach refers to the provision of real-time information on price and
availability and an instant processing of, e.g., booking requests as placed by
the consumer himself (Anckar, 2003). The rapid
development of mobile communication technologies and the increasing popularity
of mobile devices have changed the way that people are searching for
travel-related information and book their trips(Law et al. 2014 cited
by Ozturk et al., 2017). A new type of user is being established, the one
who is his own travel agent (Werthner,
2003). The following study will focus on
sale tourism, which refers to transactions and arrangements made through mobile
phones. Mobile hotel booking (MHB) is different from traditional online hotel
booking sites, as it is not needed to input a current address when searching
for nearby hotels. Recently,
with the rapid development of wireless Internet, hotels and online travel
agencies have already started turning to MHR in order to reach their existing
and potential customers providing them more personalized services, centered on
their preferences as well as their geographical locations. A MHR system
is a location based online distribution information system that is designed to
provide hotel reservation support for portable devices (Wang and Wang, 2010).In that way, hotels and online travel agencies can collect
identifiable information per person through mobile booking.
In 2016, the users of mobile phones were 4.61 billion
worldwide and till the end of 2017, forecasts
assume that the number of mobile phone users will reach 4.77 billion(Statista,
to Statista (2017), global m-commerce
revenues which accounted for $98 billion by 2013, followed a steep rise, making
up $429 billion by 2016 and it is considered to get increased more than $200
billion by 2018. It is worth to mention that
according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. mobile users, which were asked about
their travel planning habits, mobile proved as the
No. 1 platform for travel research and booking, with 66 percent of respondents
preferring to use their smart phones, rather than their desktops, for
travel research (Shaul and Shaul, 2017).
M-commerce in travel industry in the
Travel arrangements category was the
fourth most popular type of goods and services purchased online in Great Britain in
2017 (Statista, 2017). UK is among
the 9 countries, where habitants use mobile phones more. In 2016, the
percentage of personal use of mobile phones in the UK was 72%. The share of
online searches initiated on a mobile device in travel (non-map) industry was
52% (Smart Insights, 2017).In the UK, smart phone users in 2016 accounted for
43.92 billion (Statista, 2017). Since 2014, 33% of internet users consider
their phones as the most important device for getting online, compared to 30%
of internet users who prefer navigating through their laptops (Ofcom, 2017). Even
though digital channels are hugely influential for UK travel researchers and
buyers, mobile’s influence, is much less marked. In August 2016, research
conducted by consultancy Arkenford, ascertained that 76% of UK internet users had
booked holidays digitally in the past 12 months. However, just 13% had done so
via mobile phone (Emarketer.com, 2017).
| Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) cited in e-Marketer
Many studies have investigated the drivers of
adoption of m-commerce (Khalifa and Ning Shen, 2008; AlHinai,
Sherah and Stephen P, 2010;
Yang, 2005). The adoption of m-commerce has also been tested
in a bigger spectrum of IT/IS applications, mentioned above. The adoption of mobile financial services and banking has received
considerable attention from several academics and researchers (Hsu, Wang and Lin, 2011; Barnes and Corbitt, 2003; Baptista and Oliveira, 2015). Moreover, the development of
mobile commerce in different countries is significantly different, so that’s why studies concerning different
markets have been carried out, as behavioral
intentions are different in different countries (Lu
and Yu?Jen Su, 2009). Trust has been researched a lot, as it is crucial for the growth and
success of mobile commerce (Lin et al.,
2013), as well as perceived risk (Park and Tussyadiah, 2016) awaiting usage.
The low level of mobile booking in tourism context in the UK and the
fact that travel industry constitutes the
leading application in the b2c e-commerce environment (Werthner, 2003), taking into consideration as well, that few
studies have investigated the intentions of actual use of travel services in the electronic mobile marketplace against the
traditional model, justifies my choice of research
in this area.
Based on the literature review, this study will
provide answer to the following research question: Which are consumers’
incentives for booking their travel-related activities via their mobile phone?
Technology Acceptance Theory (TAM) was first
introduced from Fred Davis in 1989 in order to describe the acceptance and use
of technology (Davis, 1989). The model posits that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use determine an individual’s
intention to use a system related with Use Behavior. Venkatesh and Bala(2008) updated TAM to TAM 3,
basically by adding determinants that affect Perceived Usefulness and Perceived
Ease of Use of an innovation. Factors that influence Perceived Usefulness are
Subjective Norm, Image, Job Relevance, Output Quality, and Result
Demonstrability. Perceived Ease of Use is influenced by anchor variables
(Self-Efficacy, Perceptions of External Control, Anxiety, and Playfulness) and
adjustment variables (Perceived Enjoyment and Objective Usability). Experience
and Voluntariness act as modifiers of Behavioral Intention. TAM3 is an
information systems theory, based on how users come to accept and use a
technology. I believe that TAM3 is an appropriate model for this study. The objective of this study, based on TAM3, is to
empirically investigate the actual use of m-commerce in travel industry for UK
Acceptance Model Conceptual Framework (Venkatesh and Bala, 2008)
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