عوامل کلیدی وب سایتی در استراتژی کسب و کار الکترونیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3782||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 29, Issue 5, October 2009, Pages 362–371
The design of a quality website, as part of e-business strategy, has become a key element for success in the online market. This article analyzes the main factors that must be taken into account when designing a commercial website, concentrating on the Aceros de Hispania company and its business model. We have studied the features which determine website quality: accessibility, speed, navigability, content, and we have calculated the Web Assessment Index (WAI) proposed by Miranda and Bañegil [Miranda, F. J., & Bañegil, T. M. (2004). Quantitative evaluation of commercial websites: An empirical study of Spanish firms. International Journal of Information Management, 24(4), 313–328]. The results obtained provide several lessons which should be borne in mind when designing a commercial e-strategy. Firstly, it can be observed that Internet popularity and search engine positioning facilitate entry to practically inaccessible markets. Secondly, the navigability makes users feel comfortable and secure when browsing it, which increases the probability of a transaction being completed. Finally, the information provided on the website must be accurate, informative, updated and relevant to customers’ requirements. Like Aceros de Hispania, any company, thanks to the Internet, will be able to overcome the barriers which would impede its successful worldwide development in the offline market.
In recent years, the Internet has become a new channel for the commercialization of products conventionally sold through traditional outlets; according to the Forrester Report, the volume of US online retailing will grow from $172 billion in 2005 to $329 billion in 2010. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) requires little additional investment by companies (a website is sufficient) and facilitates access to markets previously considered as out of reach. Many companies have been built upon an exclusively electronic system of sales and, unlike the offline market, have employed a weak e-business strategy. This has led to serious tactical errors which have caused many firms to fail (Phan, Chen, & Ahmad, 2005). Numerous authors consider that the design of a quality website is a key aspect of e-business strategy (Cao et al., 2005, Frost and Strauss, 2002 and Turban et al., 2002) since this is the principal medium of communication to interact with current and potential customers. Thus, success in the virtual market requires firms to correctly manage technology and the information provided on its website. The purpose of this paper is to identify the key aspects which must be taken into account in the design of a commercial website and which contribute to a successful e-strategy. We adopt an integrative approach by considering information systems (IS) and marketing areas. We undertake a case study of a specific company, Aceros de Hispania, S.L. (ADH) (http://www.aceros-de-hispania.com), dedicated to the sale (exclusively online) of decorative, handmade weaponry: swords, knives, daggers, amour, shields, etc. Located in an area which has been both deprived and depressed economically in recent years, it has, nevertheless, managed to overcome obstacles such as the lack of an adequate communications network, continual depopulation, the absence of economic opportunities and a poor entrepreneurial environment. This has been due to a business model designed ad hoc to be developed on the Internet and which is represented through its website. ADH has become the biggest worldwide shop in its field, with regard to the number of products, and the company par excellence for lovers and collectors of this type of handicraft. This article begins with a review of the literature about the key factors that must form part of any business strategy directed towards electronic commerce and which define a quality website. After that, the e-business strategy of ADH is analyzed. Finally, the principal lessons learned are discussed, with a view to aiding businesses which wish to move from the traditional bricks and mortar structure to a pure dot com one.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this article is to determine the key aspects which must be taken into account when designing a commercial website and which contribute to a successful e-strategy. To this end, we have developed a case study, as research such as Lin (2007) suggests, and have analyzed the firm Aceros de Hispania, S.L. This company has overcome the considerable obstacles resulting from its geographical location and developed a successful e-business which would have been unfeasible in the offline market. One of the main contributions of our paper has been the empirical application of an index that measures website quality, based on aspects that are under the control of the firm and that foment success in a highly competitive channel. In recent years, most research has analyzed client perceptions to evaluate web quality, focusing on the barriers to and incentives for using the web. In this way, the role of the firm, which is fundamental, was ignored. The conclusions and implications derived from our study, on the other hand, permit us to take pertinent decisions to improve a website and so foment the new distribution channel. There are, of course, a relatively high number of studies in this field, but there is no uniform classification of the most important categories. Furthermore, these studies consist of a mere theoretical description, without empirically exploring a real website. After an exhaustive review of the literature, we have opted to use the Web Assessment Index (Miranda and Bañegil, 2004) to determine website quality on the basis of four criteria: accessibility, navigability, content and speed. Firstly, it can be observed that Internet popularity, obtained via links and good search engine positioning, facilitates entry to practically inaccessible markets, since any Internet user searching for information related to the company's activity will find its website address among the top results returned. Commercial websites should have a search facility to help users to maintain a mental map of the site. To achieve long-term results, the firm must invest in SEO instead of SEM because improving the traffic derived from search engines “naturally” allows the benefits obtained to be enjoyed longer. After the end of a campaign, the web traffic decreases very slowly, remaining uniform even months after ceasing the investment. SEO tools achieve the first positions in search results in a sustainable and stable manner, generating a brand image on the Internet. In contrast to the SEO, SEM tools achieve more rapid results. However, as soon as the campaign ends, the web traffic falls to minimum levels. Furthermore, clients who shop on the Internet know perfectly when the sponsored links are advertising paid for by the firm. Therefore, SEM would only be effective for clients that enter the Internet for the first time and these, in general, do not finalize the purchase. Thus, SEO tools are the most effective when we are looking for long-term results and when the ROI of our web does not justify the sustained use of strong investments in online marketing. Secondly, the navigability and usability of a website make users feel comfortable and secure when browsing it, which increases the probability of a transaction being completed. Companies must make the information desired by online purchasers easily available, through internal search engines, general menus, site maps, etc. The third aspect to take into account is website content, since the information provided on the website must be accurate, informative, updated and relevant to customers’ requirements. This will fulfill the informational, communication and ordering functions, which are decisive for individuals to trust the company activity. Finally, attention must be paid to more technical factors such as download speed. The results obtained by this study demonstrate that, for an e-business to be successful, it must follow a website strategy which takes into account the variables analyzed in the Web Assessment Index. It will consequently be able to develop a quality website, in terms of simplicity, efficiency, speed and popularity. Like ADH, any company, thanks to the Internet, will be able to overcome the barriers which would impede its successful worldwide development in the offline market.