Author Topic: Business to Consumer Evaluation Practices, Ob-stacles, and Factors: A Pilot Stud  (Read 4056 times)

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Author : Omar Tarawneh, Faudziah Ahmad, Jamaiah Yahaya
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Volume 3, Issue 1, January-2012
ISSN 2229-5518
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Abstract— Many websites fail to help companies reach their objectives because they neglect consumers need in their websites developments. The consumer of B2C business plays a significant role in sustaining B2C business organizations. Therefore, companies must identify their consumers’ behavioral characteristics. This study aims to investigate the B2C quality factors from the consumers’ perspective. Specially, investigate the current practice of quality development for B2C ecommerce websites in term of satisfaction, online buying habits, obstacles surrounded B2C ecommerce websites and the factors that effecting and considered in B2C evaluation from consumers perspectives. Data was gathered through questionnaire and interviews methods.  Simple descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency calculation, and percentages were used for analysis.   Out of thirty three factors, only seventeen factors have been found to be important.   These are web site visibility, safety, serviceability, price savings, high responsiveness, online shops credibility, enjoyment and entertainment, websites information, the value of the web, promotive activities, clarity, relevance, diversity of goods, services and information, web documents current and updated, user-friendly web interface, trust or trustworthiness, and accuracy and authority of web documents.

Index Terms— Business to consumer, consumer prespective factors, e-commerece evaluation, likert scale, questionnaire, website evaluation, websites quality.

1   INTRODUCTION                                                                      
The technological advances of the twenty one century have led to significant increase in internet using for commercial purposes [1]. Since, the development of the first commercial website in 1994, E-commerce has grown rapidly. It is predicted that e-commerce usage will increase rapidly during the next years. Laudon and Traver [2] supported this theory and they also predicted in the near future all commerce business will be ecommerce business by the 2050.

In addition, the consumers are no longer bound or loyal to specific times or specific locations if they want to shop; consumers can purchase whatever products or services virtually at anytime and from any place. In other words, online shopping is the process used by the consumer when he/she decides to shop via the internet from anywhere and at anytime, which is known as e-commerce. E-commerce is considered as one of the most important contributions of the information technology revolution [3].

    In general, e-commerce can be defined as a business process of selling and buying products, goods, and services through online communications or via the internet medium [4]. In other words, e-commerce means exchanging goods and services on the Internet as on-line shopping [5]. Indeed, e-commerce is considered one of the best methods for buying and selling products, services, and information electronically. Besides this, e-commerce is also considered one of the factors affecting the way payment is made. As in [6], [7], company interactive communication channel classified for four main types of ecommerce which are Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), Consumer to Business (C2B), and Consumer to Consumer (C2C). B2B refers to online transaction conducted between business organizations. B2C refers to the transactions that conduct between business and consumers via electronic way. C2B refers to consumers selling their goods or services to busi-ness on online ways. C2C involves the online interaction conducted between consumers.

     There are limited studies in Jordan regarding ecom-merce. These studies focused on challenges and limitation of adopting ecommerce in Jordan, reviews on how Jordan has adapted to some ecommerce challenges, and infrastructural problems that affect ecommerce. Many studies agreed that organizations in Jordan are facing a number of obstacles and barriers which affect the distribution of ecommerce in Jordan.  They claimed that the reasons for limited buying and selling through the Internet were the lack of cooperation between the public and private sectors, lack of trust, infrastructure problem, lack of knowledge, weakness of ecommerce organizations in promoting ecommerce in a good way, high cost of personal computes, high cost of connecting to the Internet, lack of training, and cultural resistance [8],[9].  These studies suggested ecommerce organizations to improve their existing websites so as to improve their business.

     In order to improve quality of ecommerce websites and thus increase online purchasing, important factors affect-ing success of ecommerce websites need to be investigated and addressed specifically on consumers’ perspectives. Many researchers reported that more than seventy five percent of cpmpanies do not last longer than two years [10],[11],[12]. Many researchers related this failure to the neglecting of consumers’ needs [13],[14], or ignoring the consumers’ element in their website development [15].

     Ecommerce website is considered as the ‘front door’ of an online shop that interacts between the organizations and consumers and many websites fail to help organizations reach their objectives because consumers’ needs are not catered for in the development which, results consumers’dissatisfaction in using the websites.

    Existing literature has pointed out that the consumers’ perspective in website evaluation has not been given due consideration [16], [14], [17]. [15], [14], [18] related this failure to designers who did not take the consumer aspect or human element into consideration in their website development. [19] related this failure to the lack of comprehensive set of criteria for B2C website development, which means there is a need to develop a framework that includes a comprehensive set of characteristics from the user and technical aspects.

    This research presents the findings of a study that was conducted on Jordanian firms. The purpose of the study was to understand the preliminary issues underlying websites quality evaluation, find out the current practices of website quality evaluation, determine consumer factors related to B2C transactions, investigate users’ opinions on the need of websites quality evaluation for B2C websites, investigate the importance of consumer perspectives on  B2C websites evaluation and development and, investigate the mechanisms and procedure that organizations currently follow in their websites de-velopment.

Survey method was used for conducting an empirical study on Jordanian organizations. The following sections describe the methodology for the study.

2.1 Questionnaires development and interviews
A five point Likert scale questionnaire was first developed. The questionnaire consist of thirty two questions divided to four main sections:- respondent background, current practices for quality models for business to consumer’s ecommerce websites, websites quality and the obstacles surrounded business to consumers’ websites, and quality factors. Section respondent background consists of nine questions. It presents general information about the respondent / demographic data and some trigger question to increase the reliability of the study such as the gender, educational level, online buying habits, the websites you always fre-quently visit, internet connection type, and online purchasing experiences. See  Table 1.

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