Website Attractiveness in E-Commerce Sites: Key Factors Influencing the Consumer Purchase Decision

Website Attractiveness in E-Commerce Sites: Key Factors Influencing the Consumer Purchase Decision

Siddharth Khanna (HCL Technologies, Noida, India) and Ashok Kumar Wahi (Jaypee Business School, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida, India)
DOI: 10.4018/ijvcsn.2014040104
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Abstract

Website attractiveness has become the essence of online business and bringing in more customer base. Website attracting variables play a key role enhancing the online purchase among the consumers. Key website attracting variables influencing consumer purchase decision include: Services & Offers, Ease of Use (Usability) and Concerns & Issues. Services & Offers: The consumers are attracted by the services and offers that a website provides to its users. The higher the services and offers provided by a website, the more will be the attractiveness to its users. The services and offers play a vital role as an attracting force to influence consumers in their purchasing decision. Ease of Use (Usability) is redefined as trade-off between increasing the user's motivation to encourage exploration and purchasing in e-commerce, and the costs of usability errors (Sutcliffe, 2002). The perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are the two main factors on which usability counts. The quality of the website is also determined by its usability i.e. the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use to the customer. Concerns & Issues: The eradication of trust in Internet commerce applications may cause prudent business operators and clients to forgo use of the Internet for now and revert back to traditional methods of doing business. This loss of trust is being fueled by continued stories of hacker attacks on e-commerce sites and consumer data privacy abuse. Credibility can be defined as believability. Credible information is believable information. In discussing the credibility of an e-commerce site we will aim at the reliability of the information given about the products and services. The following study aims at analyzing the website attractiveness factors of Concerns & Issues, Services & Offers and Ease of Use (Usability) influencing the consumer purchasing decision. It also aims at finding the importance of these afro mentioned variables in attracting and winning over the consumer in the highly competitive Internet marketplace. A survey of focus group of participants who were regular users of E-commerce websites like E-Bay, Yebhi, and Snapdeal etc. helped in creating a web management score.
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Introduction

Electronic commerce is sharing business information, maintaining business relationships and conducting business transactions by means of telecommunications networks (Zwass, 1996). According to Zwass, electronic commerce has been re-defined by the dynamics of the Internet and traditional e-commerce is rapidly moving to the Internet.

With the advent of the Internet, the term e-commerce began to include:

  • Electronic trading of physical goods and of intangibles (Bartolini & Mont, 2000);

  • All the steps involved in trade, such as (Nawafleh, 2013) on-line marketing, ordering payment and support for delivery;

  • The electronic provision of services such as after sales support or on-line legal advice;

  • Electronic support for collaboration between companies such as collaborative on-line design and engineering or virtual business consultancy teams (Jain, 2013);

A website is a structured collection of information stored on web servers, and is accessible on the Internet through a web browser. Websites can contain various media, levels of interactivity, and social networking features (Hussain et. all, 2013). Websites, of course, also contain single pages of information, such as news articles (Hussain et. all, 2013) (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Website attractiveness influencing customer satisfaction

Literature Review

In the twenty-first century, e-commerce and online shopping have reached a stage of steady growth. To encourage consumers to shop online, internet advertising has become one of the most important marketing strategies (Wu et al., 2011). Electronic commerce is rapidly changing the way people do business all over the world. Sales through the web or better say e-commerce has been increasing dramatically over the last few years. Customer preferences are changing and they are getting used to the new shopping channel of e-commerce. An organization’s key to survival in the new information age revolution is in its ability to successfully integrate and adapt its management practices with new information technologies offered by the internet (Jain, ‎2012).

Online shopping behavior (also called online buying behavior and Internet shopping/buying behavior) refers to the process of purchasing products or services via the Internet. The process consists of five steps similar to those associated with traditional shopping behavior (Durmuş Yörük et. al, 2011). In the typical online shopping process, when potential consumers recognize a need for some merchandise or service, they go to the Internet and search for need-related information (D Yörük, 2011). However, rather than searching actively, at times potential consumers are attracted by information about products or services associated with the felt need. They then evaluate alternatives and choose the one that best fits their criteria for meeting the felt need.

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