eCommerce Website Evaluation framework: An Owner's Perspective
In New Zealand, many businesses are investing in setting up their websites to sell goods and services as online trading becomes more popular. This action has caused disillusionment for some companies as it is difficult to clearly articulate the real benefits which could be derived from being online. This is may be due to the lack of an evaluation framework that enables owners to diagnose the performance of their eCommerce website. Current evaluative approaches presented in the literature are based on the users’ experience and fail to address the owner’s concerns. The research presented here is focussed on how to evaluate eCommerce websites based on the owner’s experience point of view. In order to be able to evaluate eCommerce websites, this study: (a) proposed a conceptual framework for eCommerce website evaluation, (b) developed measurement scales for the conceptual framework, (c) collected data based on owners’ perceptions (experience) with their websites, (d) tested the scale in businesses implementing eCommerce websites, and (e) investigated the relationship between the dimensions in the conceptual framework. The proposed research model is based on the current conceptualisation of Information Systems (IS) success models which suggest that success is a multidimensional construct. However, the customer experience is the dominant view taken in these success models. In the proposed model, and in order to address the concern of businesses setting up a website, evaluation is considered from the owner point of view. That is, a process model which links website offer to its payoffs through usage. Extra theoretical perspectives were necessary to account for the shift to the owner’s experience. Since the evaluation is based on the owner’s process understanding of creating a website, the owner satisfaction is included in the process as a contextual variance. This will enable factors in the evaluation model to be clearly linked in causal relationships that lead to owner satisfaction as an ultimate favourable result. Data was collected from 225 New Zealand businesses that have an eCommerce website through an online survey. The research model was tested using the two-step approach of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) where the structural model and measurement model were separately analysed. A set of measurement models was used to determine indicators that capture each construct and a structural model was used to determine the relationships between concepts. Each measurement model was tested in isolation, then factors forming the endogenous variables, followed by factors forming the exogenous variables were each separately tested, and finally a collective network was determined and tested. The key findings of this research showed that there are four factors that explain the change of performance in the website. These factors are: website offer, usage, financial returns, and owner satisfaction. The study concluded that websites could be evaluated along those four factors the effectiveness of which could be monitored along their measurement scales. It is also premised on the same variable that these factors function in a serial manner and the ultimate measure of effectiveness is owner satisfaction. The study also concluded that these factors explain the success of a website; each factor is necessary but not sufficient on its own to explain the success of a website.
Advisor: Benwell, George L; Deans, Kenneth R; Williams, John R
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Dept. of Information Science
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: eCommerce; eCommerce Website; Evaluation; e-commerce; Resource-based View; Structural Equation Modeling; Information Systems Success Models; Process Model; Survey
Research Type: Thesis