The Development of Web Sites: Objectives of Australian SMEs

The Development of Web Sites: Objectives of Australian SMEs

Xueli Huang (Edith Cowan University, Australia) and Elaine K.F. Leong (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-642-6.ch003


Setting objectives precedes strategic planning and evaluation. Given the importance of setting objectives prior to any other marketing campaign planning and evaluation tasks, research into the objectives of Web sites is a necessary precursor of Web site planning and evaluation. This chapter seeks to gain insights into the Web site objectives of Australian SMEs and to provide a typology of the SMEs based on their Web objectives. The results of multivariate analyses, based on 139 Perth-based SMEs, have revealed that these businesses are motivated to develop their Web site to achieve three fundamental objectives: promoting corporate image or product branding, building customer relationships, and enhancing financial performance. At this early stage of Web site development, the most important objective for SMEs is to promote corporate image. Using the factor scores of these three dimensions as input, a further cluster analysis revealed four different segments in terms of SMEs’ Web site objectives. These four segments are image builder, harvester, servant, and optimistic explorer. The characteristics of SMEs in each segment are described and the reasons explained.

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