Website Evaluation Criteria: An Owner’s Perspective

Website Evaluation Criteria: An Owner’s Perspective

Ahmad Ghandour (University of Otago, New Zealand), George L. Benwell (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Kenneth R. Deans (University of Otago, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0170-3.ch013
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Abstract

There is often a need for business organisations to evaluate their current and potential website in order to maximize the payoffs from website investments. Current evaluative approaches for the performance of e-commerce websites do not adequately address owners’ concerns regarding the payoffs from their e-commerce investment. This chapter establishes criteria to evaluate e-commerce websites based on an owner’s perception rather than the customer’s perception. Drawing upon theories of communication, resource based view and process oriented approach, an evaluation framework of three dimensions is developed. The three dimensions are: website offer, usage, and payoff. These three dimensions are used to explain the performance of a website, culminating in a website evaluation model. Each dimension is a business process of the website that the organisation needs to monitor.
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Background And Motivation Of The Study

Business organisations that have a website as a sales channel need to be engaged in an evaluation effort as part of their management practices. Such evaluations promise strategic benefits such as a positive return on investment (Park & Gretzel, 2007; Stockdale & Lin, 2008) and help the progression to higher levels of e-commerce activity (Ally, Cater-Steel, & Toleman, 2007).

Throughout the literature, e-commerce website evaluation has been studied from the user perspective or the technical aspect, while there are fewer studies that deal with the owner perspective (Barnes & Vidgen, 2003; DeLone & McLean, 2004; Elliot, Moّrup-Petersen, & Bjoّrn-Andersen, 2000; Molla & Licker, 2001; Petre, Minocha, & Roberts, 2006; Quaddus & Achjari, 2005; Schubert & Selz, 2001; Torkzadeh & Dhillon, 2003; Turban & Gehrke, 2000; Udo & Marquis, 2001; Van der Merwe & Bekker, 2003). Nevertheless, the owner perspective presents an important supplement to the user perspective aspects, as they may provide answers to the impact of e-commerce investment (payoffs resulting from investment). The reasons for such shortcomings are mainly due to the emphasis given to the user and the need to understand what is suitable for them. Another reason is that owners are usually not willing to divulge financial data or even user statistics on their websites, making the investment payoff analysis more difficult.

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