A4 Article in conference proceedings
Contemporary challenges in street trader-customer interaction through mobile devices in Dodoma, Tanzania

List of Authors: Rumanyika J., Tedre M., Apiola M., Oyelere S., Mramba N.
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Publication year: 2019
Book title *: Information and Communication Technologies for Development. Strengthening Southern-Driven Cooperation as a Catalyst for ICT4D
Journal name in source: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Title of series: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume number: 551
ISBN: 978-3-030-18399-8
eISBN: 978-3-030-18400-1
ISSN: 1868-4238


Street trading is a common form of informal work carried out by almost
one million Tanzanians. Majority of street traders use mobile devices to
interact with customers. Despite this interaction, there is no abundant
information showing if their interaction is mainly effective and does
not face challenges. This study investigated the challenges faced by
street traders and customers interacting through mobile devices in
Dodoma, Tanzania. Qualitative data were collected using in-depth
interviews with 42 street traders and 32 customers, followed by focus
group discussion with eight street traders and six customers. Thematic
analysis was used to analyze the data. The results show that street
traders and customers occasionally interact using mobile phones.
However, that interaction is challenged by issues connected to
financial, technical and social aspects. These challenges are; lack of
reliability among mobile phone interacting customers, mobile network
problems, lack of business communication transparency, deep-rooted
customary practices and perceptions of street trading, poor customer
care, lack of consensus over mobile business etiquette, poor quality of
product pictures, short mobile internet bundle validity, mobile phone
battery life, and costs of mobile handset, transactions, vouchers,
packages, and transport. The results call for the option of bundle and
transaction cost reduction, network infrastructure improvement and
provision of education to street traders and customers so that they
realize the significance of business interaction using mobile devices
contrary to what is happening recently, as well as abiding by
communication ethics to minimize the likely challenges.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:47