Tina Christensen; Linda Stankus , pp. 115. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2008.
The purpose of our research is to examine differences in e-commerce preferences between men, women, and mothers with small children (in the US). Various website factors have been established in previous studies as critical to e-commerce success. However, there are few studies that investigate how these factors vary in importance among different user groups, for example men, women, or mothers with young children. Increased understanding of these group’s preferences can help companies market themselves more effectively to these groups.
A survey was distributed to residents of the US, asking respondents to rank the relative importance of 16 e-commerce features, as well as to provide performance ratings for the implementation of these features by their favorite Internet retailer. The data collected from this survey was analyzed to evaluate significant group differences in their prioritization of importance, as well as perceived performance, of the features and of three constructs (information quality, system quality, and customer-relations quality), which corresponded to more general characteristic groupings of these features. These measures were used to help identify potential performance gaps, which might serve as opportunities for companies to better meet the e-retail expectations of different customer groups.
Differences in the importance of features and constructs within each of the groups were consistent with previous studies. A number of gender differences were found in the relative importance of various features, but no gender differences were found at the more general construct level. There were no significant differences in importance values between mothers and non-mothers at either the feature or construct level. However, numerous differences between the groups were found in performance ratings at both feature and construct levels. Most significant was the lower level of satisfaction among mothers, for all features and constructs. Because of a high proportion of respondents listing Amazon.com as favorite e-retailer, separate analyses were performed of these respondents and of the other “non-Amazon” respondents. These analyses showed even greater dissatisfaction among the non-Amazon mothers. In fact, Amazon performance ratings were higher than those of the non-Amazon companies for all constructs and groups, except that IQ performance for women, and especially for non-mothers, was relatively low and of possible concern.