The impact of website quality on customer satisfaction and purchase intentions: Evidence from Chinese online visitors
Billy Bai, Rob Law, Ivan Wen
International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2008
I decided to analyze this article in the beginning as I am planning to conduct an experiment in order to measure the quality of different booking web-sites. However, mine research will be based on qualitative approach and will have a second benefit of evaluating and comparing existing webpages. Additionally, using methodology from this article I will test whether there is a significant difference of purchase intention between those webpages.
The authors based on empirical research proved that there is a positive correlation between website quality on customer satisfaction, which has a positive impact on purchase intentions. And as it doesn’t seem to be very surprising, the more interesting part of this article is the conceptual model they created.
But before we can move it to this point, lets first spend some time on defying and explaining what actually the quality of webpage is. Liu et al. (2000) and DeLane and McLean (1992) stated that key design factors that reflect website quality are:
- information quality,
- service quality,
- system design quality ,
- system use,
- user satisfaction,
- individual (or organizational) impact
The combination of all those factors creates the quality of the entire webpage. However, from the customer perspective the most important is the system and information quality. Although, both of them sounds pretty vague; Therefore lets spend a moment trying to clarify them a bit. To evaluate the first one, we can use measures as: reliability of system, online response time, ease of terminal use, content of database, aggregation of details, human factors and system accuracy (Swanson, 1974), Emery (1971). To evaluate second one, we can use following measures: user information satisfaction, business profitability, improved decision quality and performance, perceived benefits on information systems and level of system usage (gathered by Bai, et. al 2008).
If we know how to evaluate quality of webpage is reasonable to explain right now how to measure customer satisfaction in the virtual environment. Basically customer is satisfied when the service he received, exceed his expectations (Parasuraman and Grewal, 2000). More sophisticated approach measure customer satisfaction as function of product quality, price, customer factors and situational factors. Product quality might be measured by traditional five dimensions of service quality: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy; expanded by ease of navigation, flexibility, efficiency, site esthetics and security.
The last component of the equation is purchase intention. Firstly, we could argue whether customers’ intention may be used as predictor of actual behavior. Fortunately, based on the empirical study conducted by Buttle and Bok (1996) and Ajzen and Driver (1992) purchase intention is reportedly correlated to actual behavior and as result might be used as predictor.
The methodology used in this article (Bai et al. 2008) is presented in graph below.
Graph1: A conceptual model of website quality, customer satisfaction and purchase intention
source: Bai et. al 2008
I will skip the details about the methodology of this research (If anytime in the future I receive a feedback that someone is interested in it, I promise, I will develop this part). For now being I will only focus on results.
As it was mentioned in the beginning. The quality of webpage has a positive influence on purchase intentions (both short and long term) and it is meditated by customer satisfaction. The whole relationship is characterized with positive correlation. Those results might be interpreted also from another perspective. If you want to enhance the purchase intention, you should improve the quality of your webpage.
Bai, B., Law, R. and Wen, I. (2008). The impact of website quality on customer satisfaction and purchase intentions: Evidence from Chinese online visitors. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.391-402.
- Ajzen, I., Driver, B.E., 1992. Applied of the theory of planned behavior to leisure choice. Journal of Leisure Research 24 (3), 207–224.
- Buttle, F., Bok, B., 1996. Hotel marketing strategy and the theory of reasoned action. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 8 (3), 5–10.
- DeLone, W.H., McLean, E.R., 1992. Information system success: the quest for the dependent variable. Information System Research 3 (1), 60–92.
- Emery, J.C., 1971. Cost/Beneﬁt Analysis of Information Systems (Workshop Report). The Society for Management Information Systems, Chicago.
- Liu, C., Arnett, K.P., Litecky, C., 2000. Design quality of websites for electronic commerce: fortune 1000 webmasters’ evaluations. Electronic Markets 10 (2), 120–129.
- Parasuraman, A., Grewal, D., 2000. The impact of technology on the quality–value–loyalty chain: a research agenda. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28 (1), 168–174.
- Swanson, E.B., 1974. Management information systems: appreciation and involvement. Management Science 21 (2), 178–188.
Author: Mateusz Konopelski