One of our best 2016 MBA theses on digitisation

Digitisation of self-service channels in emerging markets as a growth strategy

By: Subban Prian 2017



A lower cost of acquisition and cost of servicing consumers in emerging markets equates to economic benefit for organisations using digital self-service channels as a platform for consumer engagement. The challenge faced by these companies is the need to become more digitally inclusive by distributing their products and services through digital self-service channels and benefit economically through the consumer adoption of these channels. In the context of consumer adoption, this exploratory research study investigates the barriers to customer acceptance and customer adoption and how organisations can leverage digital self-service channels to their advantage.

The research study presents an opportunity to explore challenges such as overcoming barriers to customer acceptance, adoption, satisfaction, retention and cost-efficiency gains that leads to the full scale adoption of digital self-service channels. The research study was conducted in Gauteng with senior management and industry experts representing South African based companies.

Data for the study was gathered through ten semi-structured interviews using the long interview method. The subjects of the study were selected using a non-probability purposed sampling technique. The results suggest that the cost of sale and the cost of service are lower than that of traditional channels. Organisations acknowledge that customer insights, seamless internal processes and social influences are key components in the customer life-cycle journey. The results reveal that the barriers to customer acceptance and adoption are shared with customer education, engagement, knowing the customer needs, and perceived value. When these are resolved, customer adoption is achieved.


  • Digitisation
  • Self-service channels
  • Customer adoption
  • Customer acceptance