The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to extend and enhance the growing body of research related to electronic commerce by examining the relative importance of content, ease-of-use, promotion, made-for-the-medium, and emotion elements of manufacturer’s representatives’ websites from the perspectives of site users, and to determine if the relative importance of these website elements varies as a function of occupational category. As these things are currently unknown, manufacturer’s representatives do not currently understand how to apply these critical elements to create a successful web presence. In this study, participants consisted of 90 graduates from four year accredited programs having earned a degree related to the art or science of illumination with a minimum of 5 years involvement in the lighting industry. The mean for content (M = 38.34, SD = 13.45) and ease-of-use (M = 34.17, SD = 12.96) indicated they were the most important website elements. Substantially lower means were found for emotion (M = 7.23, SD = 6.30) and promotion (M = 7.40, SD = 6.55) as well as made for the medium (M = 12.86, SD = 8.48) indicating these website elements to be less important. The mean ratings for the five website elements as a function of occupational group indicate little variation between the occupational groups in terms of the relative importance of the five website elements. Content and Ease-of-use were rated as more important than Promotion, Made for the Medium, and Emotion for all five occupational groups. The findings of this research suggest future research is needed taking industry specific contexts into account. In order to accomplish this, future research could be performed on a larger scale, with multiple industries. As the Internet continues to evolve, more research will be needed to evaluate how new technologies will affect the design of websites, and the effect on website element importance. Future research could also examine the relationship of industry, income, age, gender, or other demographics to website element preference. Research relating to the application of existing theory in an electronic commerce context is also an area for future research.
|Commitee:||Bouvin, David, Clowes, Meena|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Information Technology, Web Studies, Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses|
|Keywords:||Business websites, Electronic commerce, Internet, Website design|
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