بررسی اثر کیفیت وب سایت بر موفقیت کسب و کار الکترونیکی : رویکرد فرآیند تحلیل سلسله مراتبی (AHP)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3735||2006||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8940 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Decision Support Systems, Volume 42, Issue 3, December 2006, Pages 1383–1401
This study investigates website quality factors, their relative importance in selecting the most preferred website, and the relationship between website preference and financial performance. DeLone and McLean's IS success model extended through applying an analytic hierarchy process is used. A field study with 156 online customers and 34 managers/designers of e-business companies was performed. The study identified different relative importance of each website quality factor and priority of alternative websites across e-business domains and between stakeholders. This study also found that the website with the highest quality produced the highest business performance. The findings of this study provide decision makers of e-business companies with useful insights to enhance their website quality.
The importance of evaluating information systems (IS) success has long been recognized by both IS researchers and practitioners , ,  and . Evaluation is a challenging task because information systems are complex socio-technical entities , IS investment is related to intangible benefits and indirect costs , and financial data to measure impact of information systems typically are not accumulated . E-business success is no exception and needs careful evaluation. The decision makers at e-business companies have continued to make vast investments in developing websites for e-business without having clear knowledge of what factors contribute to developing a high quality website and how to measure effects on e-business success  and . Many researchers are concerned about this issue. For example, DeLone and McLean  pointed out that “companies are making large investments in e-business applications but are hard-pressed to evaluate the success of their e-business systems…. Researchers have turned their attention to developing, testing, and applying e-business success measures” (p. 24). Similarly, Zhu and Kraemer  indicated that “while sizeable investments in e-business are being made, researchers and practitioners are struggling to determine whether and how these expenditures improve the business performance of firms, or even how to measure the Internet-based, e-business initiatives in the first place” (p. 276). Studies reported that less than 5% of customers shopping at physical stores engaged in online purchases  and . Therefore, there is an urgent need to help decision makers gain a better understanding of online customers' perceptions of more desirable websites  and . This study assumes that the success of an e-business company is more likely when its website is developed to provide the highest level of website quality among alternative websites. This results in online customers selecting a site as the most preferred website. If more customers select the website, the higher the likelihood of improved business performance. The relationship between website quality, preference, and business performance has been proposed by many researchers ,  and , but no empirical study has been done. This study addresses this concern, restricting the scope of this study to an investigation of website quality of B2C websites designed for online retail customers. This study has three sub-objectives. The first is to examine website quality factors (or criteria) and their relative importance in website selection. Using DeLone and McLean's IS success model , this study identifies four website quality factors including information quality, system quality, service quality, and vendor-specific quality, which include 14 sub-factors. Then by applying an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) approach , this study investigates the relative importance of each factor and ranks alternative websites. AHP has been applied successfully to resolve complex alternative selection problems and more than 1000 AHP articles have been published in refereed journals . The difference between website quality factors and alternative selection in different e-business domains is also examined. The second objective is to identify the perceptual gap between online customers and managers/designers of e-business companies with respect to evaluating website quality and selecting alternative websites. In previous IS development literature ,  and , the perceptual gap between users and designers has been recognized as the most critical reason for poor IS development and project failures. By examining this gap, this study can provide insight on managers/designers' misunderstanding of the needs and preferences of online customers and how to address this misunderstanding. Instead of investigating the gap based on a specific theoretical view, this study is an exploratory effort focused on the identification of sources of the gap. The final objective is to investigate the relationship between website preference and business performance. The relationship is tested by comparing the ranking of the most preferred website with that of business performance. The findings of this study responds to the requests of previous researchers to examine the relationship between IS success measures and financial performance . In sum, this study provides useful insights to support the decision making of e-business companies to make strategic and resource allocations for developing high quality websites to improve financial performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
By adopting DeLone and McLean's IS success model and applying an AHP method, this study investigated factors affecting website selection, the factors' relative importance, and the priority of alternative websites. The study then validated the relationship between website preference and business performance. This study does have limitations that should be revisited in future studies. First, the B2C websites of two e-business domains used in the study might not represent all e-business domains. Second, this study only includes websites that sell commodity goods, not unique goods. Third, this study was conducted with relatively small samples, especially for managers/designers of small web design companies. This may have caused a sample selection bias problem. Third, since the study is based on the AHP method, measurement instruments for each criterion were not developed. Future studies using different statistical methods (e.g., regression, structural equation modeling) to develop the instruments are recommended. Fourth, since e-business websites were selected as target websites, researchers have no control over them. This does not allow investigation of the effects of each criterion under a controlled environment. Fifth, evaluation criteria were selected within the boundary of DeLone and McLean's model, which could have excluded some criteria that might strongly influence website quality. Sixth, this study was conducted under a simulated purchasing environment, not an actual purchasing one, which might result in a lower weight for service quality. Finally, measuring financial performance using a short-term time period may introduce inaccuracy problems. Despite the limitations, the analyses showed several interesting results. First, the study found that each of the four website quality factors were relevant criteria in selecting the most preferred website. Online customers considered system quality as the most important factor. Navigability and security were highly ranked, indicating that companies should expend more effort to make the website more navigable and safe. Vendor-specific quality also was highly pertinent. Both reputation and price savings got attention from online customers noting that companies should deploy a balanced strategy of increasing reputation and reducing price. The relative unimportance of service quality was a surprising finding. One possible reason is that online customers have experienced poor web service and they may not be familiar with newly implemented service quality features (e.g., online complaint management systems). However, this does not mean service quality is less important. Instead, e-business companies might use high service quality as a strategic tool for business differentiation from other competitors. Second, this study found that online customers perceived different importance of website quality factors in different e-business domains. While the top ranked website quality factors were similar, the ranking order was different. For example, in an online travel domain, information relevance was the most important factor, while navigation was the most important factor in an online electronic domain. The result is similar to a recent finding in marketing literature  asserting that customers' importance varies depending on the types of product, technology, or services. Therefore, the findings of this study are effective only for online electronics and travel domains, not all e-business domains. Further study to reveal the relative importance of website quality factors in a particular e-business domain is recommended. Third, this study identified several perceptual gaps existing between online customers and managers/designers. First, while managers/designers considered price as the most important factor for selecting the most preferred online travel site, online customers considered information relevance and navigability as most important. This indicates that compared to managers/designers' expectations, online customers achieved satisfaction while engaging in online purchases rather than in direct financial benefits. In addition, there was a significant perceptual gap on telepresence. That is, while online customers preferred to have a vivid and interactive experience from an online store, managers/designers consider it the least important factor. Managers/designers may ignore online customers' aesthetic values for online shopping. The findings of these perceptual gaps suggest that managers/designers should design the website providing more aesthetic and convenient shopping experiences. Given the existence of the perceptual gap, future studies that reveal the causal links related to the perceptual gaps based on theoretical models are desirable. Finally, this study demonstrated the positive relationship between website preference and business performance by showing that the ranking of the most preferred website was matched with that of the highest performing websites. While the finding has a limitation from using short-term financial data to measure business performance, the attempt to investigate the relationship between an e-business success factor and business performance is of value. This study does provide several theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical perspective, this study empirically validated that DeLone and McLean's IS success model could successfully explain e-business success. In addition, this study successfully extended the original model with vendor-specific quality factors and found a significant effect. Therefore, the proposed model might be used as an alternative theoretical model for evaluating e-business success in future study. Second, this study applied AHP and found its appropriateness to resolve a complex website selection problem. AHP could be applied to future studies resolving various multi-criteria decision making problems in e-business areas. Finally, by investigating the relationship between website preference and business performance, this study opens the door for further studies examining the relationship between a variety of e-business success factors and business performance measures. From a practitioners' perspective, the findings of a perceptual gap provides managers/designers an insight that they have to carefully reexamine customers' needs and preferences when they develop or update their websites. Using proposed system design methods resolving the perceptual gap problem between customers and designers is recommended . In addition, the proposed model can be used for guiding managers/designers in measuring the quality level of their websites. At the same time, the model can be used to compare the quality level of a company's website with that of competitors. By gauging website quality levels and comparing with competitors' websites, e-business companies can make strategic and resource allocation decisions on how to improve current websites for e-business success. Finally, the research model, criteria and their relative impact provide useful information for the decision makers of e-business companies to develop decision support systems to monitor the performance of the current websites and provide strategic suggestions to develop enhanced websites. In conclusion, evaluating e-business success is a challenging issue, but should be undertaken to examine payoffs of investment in e-business systems.