Transportation is concerned with mobility (Mladenović et al. 2020; Jean et al. 2006), particularly how mobility is taking place in the context of a wide variety of conditions. Mobility in this context is connected with the distribution of goods and services (Geels et al. 2017) without which production (finished products that get to the final consumers) cannot be achieved (Akintayo 2010). Freight transport is a key element of a supply chain (Bruno 2017), and the execution of this type of transport is of major importance in other types of economies and businesses as it often makes possible their existence, operation, and good levels of performance (Sheller 2018; Crainic 1997) One of the means of achieving sustainable transport and distribution is the integration of more environmentally friendly modes of transport (Stevanovic and Mitrovic 2020) by combining different modes of transport (Allah et al. 2020). Parallel to the technological advancement in mobility toward distribution, the concept of e-commerce logistics cannot be overemphasized, as the definition of the constructs (e-distribution and e-commerce logistics) if intertwined is not far-fetched from each other.
Before conceptualizing the definition of e-commerce logistics, there is a need to understand the definition of e-commerce and logistics independently. According to Andrew (2021), e-commerce is a business model that allows organizations and individuals to engage in buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet, using computers, tablets, smartphones, and other smart Internet-enabled devices. This does not deal with distribution or logistics, but rather facilitate the linkage between buyers and sellers over the Internet (Diana et al. 2020).
In addition, logistics is a form of retailing which gives room for investing in logistical components and embarking on logistical activities. There is no specific definition of logistics; it is employed in diverse forms such as physical distribution, business logistics, materials management, procurement and supply, product flow, marketing logistics, supply chain management, demand chain management, and several more. There is, realistically, no ‘true’ name or ‘true’ definition that should be pedantically applied, because products differ, companies differ and systems differ. Logistics is a diverse and dynamic function that has to be flexible and has to change according to the various constraints and demands imposed upon it and with respect to the environment in which it works.
Many of these identified terms are used, often interchangeably, in the literature and in the business world. One quite widely accepted view shows the relationship as follows: Logistics = Supply + Materials management + Distribution. Logistics is concerned with physical and information flows and storage from raw material through to the final distribution of the finished product (Alan et al. 2006). It is defined as the physical and information flows, and storage from raw material through to the final distribution of the finished product (Xiang 2014).
There are issues with logistics, and these issues emanate and are prevailing in different organizations especially those dealing with commerce, retailing, and distribution (Committee 2018). According to Havenga (2018), logistics is defined as a major component of the supply chain process, which aids in the planning, implementation, and controlling of physical flow of goods. It also enhances the effective and efficient storage of goods. E-commerce logistics is therefore defined as the execution of both commerce and logistics over the Internet. It is the inclusion of logistical activities with e-commerce. Majority of the e-commerce businesses do not increase their scope to logistics because they don’t want to incur any associated risks regarding logistics. There is high risk associated with logistics because of the bad state of road networks which result to road congestion (Risk Management Society 2015). As a result of congestion, perishable goods may be lost in transit either through theft, or damage.
Apart from road congestion, poor road infrastructures and poor vehicle conditions are among other issues that hinder the effectiveness of logistical operations (Kruger and Luke 2015). Conventional approaches of managing and ensuring safety of vehicles consist of dynamics relating to the provision of driver training, ensuring effective health and safety procedures (Tiikkaja et al. 2020), and developing safety programs and policies (O’Sullivan and Sinnott 2016). Despite the initiatives and schemes that have been put in place to improve safety, the literature reveals that challenges are still in existence.
As a result of technological advancement and economic forces, the face of logistics changes such that there is a growing amount of space being made accessible at a minimal cost with improvements in transport speed, capacity, and efficiency (Fearnley and Aarhaug 2019; Jean et al. 2006); also with an increase in customers’ expectation (Liimatainen et al. 2020), there are more classy options available to logistics service providers in various means (Andersson and Hasson 1998). With the development of industry 4.0, there has been emergence of networked communication, digitalization, data analytics, machine learning, and to name a few (Koch et al. 2014). The Industry 4.0 enhances the integration of various technologies to advance and transform the efficiency of logistics business dynamics (Vaidya et al. 2018; Wang and Pei 2014). As a result of Industry 4.0, the concept of e-commerce logistics was achieved for commerce and logistics to be electronically and technologically driven sequentially (van der Tuin and Pel 2020). The wide range activities of logistics such as storage, inventory management, materials handling, and order processing will be efficiently enhanced with e-commerce logistics.
Electronic commerce logistics or simply e-commerce logistics, which is rooted on information and communication technologies (ICTs), has the possibility of improving trade efficiency across the globe and integrating developing economies into a global economy (UNCTAD 1999). As a result, Chowdhury (2003) observed that there has been a significant growth of e-commerce logistics in developed countries in the last two decades and it is recently evidenced in the developing countries. It is the management of physical flows of an organization that sells goods via an online platform such as website, blogs, among all.
Most technologies, including e-commerce logistics, were developed in Western countries that have very heterogeneous backgrounds to those of developing countries. The success of technology acceptance and patronage is mostly dependent on how it is employed by the users, and as a result, it is affected by the vigorous between the technology and the users (Unhelkar 2003). It is not surprising that although the acceptance and patronage of technology has always been thriving among youths in developing countries, there are cases of thefts, scams, and frauds encountered online. Furthermore, while e-commerce logistics have been advantageous for many years in the developed countries, there is still uncertainty in the significance of e-commerce logistics and its importance in the developing countries (Odedra-Straub 2003).
In the globalization era, understanding the acceptance and patronage of ICT as well as e-commerce logistics in the developing countries is becoming essential to increase the level of its acceptance and patronage. This, in turn, enhances the developed countries to do business deal with the developing countries more resourcefully. At this stage, Chowdhury (2003) noted that there are still scarcity of studies on the acceptance and patronage of e-commerce logistics technologies by developing countries. This study is carried out to fill the lacuna in the studies regarding technology acceptance and patronage by exploring the factors influencing the acceptance and patronage of e-commerce logistics operations in Nigeria.
For this study, Jumia, Konga, Kobo360, Breath2Wealth, Okrikah, DeliveryBros, Cartehub, STYLISTAA, and DayDone Limited were considered for this study. The organizations were chosen because they were known for both e-commerce and logistics business activities in Nigeria. Because of globalization, there have been different dynamics in business competition and there has also been a swift change in the level of investment in ICT growth. This advantage of ICT is not only felt (enhancing competitiveness) on businesses, but on other sectors of the economy. It is, therefore, pertinent to assess how these recent dynamics affect Nigerian organizations’ attitude toward e-commerce logistics technology acceptance and patronage, since it is supposed that competition plays a key role in the growth of ICT (Singh 2000).
A few studies have been conducted to really investigate the factors of e-commerce logistics. Most of the available studies concentrated on e-commerce logistics (Bask et al. 2012; Masmoudi et al. 2014; Ramanathan et al. 2014). In fact, Ying et al. (2016) conducted a comprehensive review of the practice of e-commerce logistics in supply chain management by drawing lessons and insights from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Many of these studies focused on examining the B2B business model and may be limited to e-commerce.
Ejdys and Gulc (2020) examined the interrelationships between usefulness of courier services, ease of use of courier services, trust in courier services, service quality, and future intention to use courier services, with the use of electronic questionnaire to conduct interview. The study found a statistical significance between the following constructs: ease of use and trust in service; usefulness and trust in service; trust in service and service quality; and service quality and future intention to use the services.
Miraz et al. (2020) conducted a study on the affecting e-commerce logistics in Malaysia using trust as the mediating role. The study further analyzed the factors that influence blockchain users to utilize blockchain in e-logistic from a cross-sectional approach. The study found that there is a positive significant relationship between e-logistic, blockchain, crypto-currency, and trust.
Russo and Confente (2019) analyzed the significance of e-commerce logistics service quality and identified the key drivers for gaining customer satisfaction and loyalty with the use of Multiple Regression analysis. The study found that the site ease of use and the physical distribution service quality (PDSQ) were statistically significant in predicting the customer satisfaction, whereas other antecedents, such as the physical distribution service price (PDSP) and the product returns management (PRM), were not statistically significant.
Rajendran et al. (2018) conducted a study on the impact of logistics services on the e-shoppers’ satisfaction, thereby determining the main logistics services elements that influences satisfaction of online shopper. Pearson correlation and multiple regression were employed for data analysis. The study found that service recovery, delivery service, and customer service positively influence the satisfaction level of e-commerce shoppers.
Also, limited researches may have been conducted on the acceptance and patronage of e-commerce logistics in Nigeria. Consequently, this study focuses on examining B2C business model of e-commerce logistics. In order to figure out current factors influencing the acceptance and patronage of e-commerce logistics business in a B2C model, this paper provides an all-inclusive review of e-commerce logistics business and provides insights into the extent at which e-commerce logistics is been accepted and used by Nigerian organization. The findings of this current study will contribute to the technology acceptance literature.
The literature search comprises of both primary and secondary sources that were published. In the review, the electronic databases such as ResearchGate, Academia, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were employed for sourcing studies. The major keywords employed were e-commerce, logistics, retailing, and business models.