Issues Facing Website Evaluation: Identifying a Gap

Issues Facing Website Evaluation: Identifying a Gap

Ahmad Ghandour, Kenneth R. Deans, George L. Benwell
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0170-3.ch012
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As business organisations have become more reliant on Information Technology in achieving success, Information Systems have become essential. Business organisations now use websites as part of their Information Systems as a medium for communication and transactions between the business and their customers. A better understanding of how to evaluate a website is necessary. This chapter explores website evaluation and recognises the current challenges facing website evaluation. It begins by identifying the type of website the current study is focussed on, namely the e-commerce website. This is followed by reviewing the literature on website evaluative approaches and anecdotally described issues with the existing performance measures. Three perspectives were identified when evaluating websites, user, designer, and owner perspectives. While the user and the designer perspectives are well advanced in the literature, there is a relative dearth of scholarly studies that address the owners’ needs. The provision of such a perspective may enhance an owner’s ability to increase returns and benefits from their online activity. Such gap need to be filled, a call from the authors.
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E-Commerce Evaluation

Researchers have been interested in e-commerce for almost two decades. Some studies proposed and investigated different business models for trading on the Internet. Others investigated the benefits of the Internet to businesses (Cockburn & Wilson, 1996; Ng & Wilson, 1998), and the benefits from implementing e-commerce (Piris, Fitzgerald, & Serrano, 2004; Zhuang & Lederer, 2003). This has led to approaches that are used to conduct evaluations of e-commerce at all levels of implementation. Two distinct research streams are identified: (a) the uptake and, (b) the success of such initiatives. Researchers follow either stream to identify factors that impact the effectiveness of an e-commerce initiative in an organisation.

In the uptake approach, e-commerce is considered an innovation. Researchers have extended works such as Rogers’ six stages of the diffusion of innovation model (Rogers, 1983, 2003) to acquire an underlying knowledge of how e-commerce is adopted through the five stages (initiation, adoption, implementation, evaluation, and integration). Rogers also classified adopters into six categories: non-adopters, innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Further, researchers (Al-Qirim, 2005; Eastin, 2002; Grandon & Pearson, 2004; Hong & Zhu, 2006; Pease & Rowe, 2005; Samiaji & Zowghi, 2005; Teo & Pian, 2004; Zhu & Kraemer, 2003) explored potential factors impact on e-commerce adoption as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Generic model in the adoption research


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