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Assessing the Quality of Auction Web Sites

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					Assessing the Quality of
  Auction Web Sites
34th Hawaii International Conference on
 System Science, January 3-6, 2001
    Stuart Barnes & Richard Vidgen


      Reporter: Shu-Hwa Chou
Outlines
   Introduction
   The development of WebQual
   Internet auctions
     Amazon
     eBay
     XQL
   Research design
   Data analysis
   Conclusion
Introduce
   The B2C and C2C markets have expanded
    rapidly, where community and Internet auction
    sites have played a large part.
   To be successful in the EC marketplace,
    organizations will need to provide high quality
    web sites.
   WeQual is an instrument for assessing user
    perceptions of the quality of web sites.
Introduction
   WebQual allows comparisons to be made
    between organizations in the same industry, ex:
    UK business School sites, Internet bookshops.
   One business model that is receiving
    widespread attention is the Internet-based
    auctions(B2C, B2B, C2C).
   This paper shows how WebQual was used to
    evaluate the quality of three auction sites:
    Amazon, eBay, and QXL.
The development of WebQual
 WebQual is a structured and disciplined
  process that provides a means to identify
  and carry the voice of the customer.
 The users are asked to rate target sites
  against each quality and each the qualities
  for importance using a 5 point scale.
     WebQual 1.0- information quality
     WebQual 2.0- interaction quality
The development of WebQual
       WebQual 3.0- an integrated view of web site quality




   To test out the WebQual 3.0 instrument, we use the
    domain UK online auction houses.
Internet auctions
   The internet allows auctions to be held at greatly
    lower cost and can involve many more buyers
    than traditional auctions.
   Most sites currently address the fraud issue
    through long and detail trading rules and limited
    guarantees.
   Turban et al. (2000) estimate that the Internet
    auction industry will reach $52 billion sales by
    2002.
Research design
   39 students of a Masters degree in MIS.
   Gave the students a real stake and enabled
    them to gain real experience of browsing,
    bidding, buying, and selling.
      Quality workshop
        “What are the qualities of an excellent auction web
         site”
        Put into 5 or 6 groups and combine their qualities.

        A representative structure from each group.
The auctions sites and the auction
process
   3 sites, 27 qualities, and importance weightings,
    each subject is required to make 108
    assessments.
     eBay(US)  :more than 2 million items in 1500
      categories and one of the highest traffic volumes.
     Amazon(US) :strong brand for online book sales and
      has moved into the auction sector.
     QXL(UK) :QXL’s policy is to expand by acquisition.
The auctions sites and the auction
process
   All 3 auctions work in the same way
     Buyers  and sellers must register before offering lots
      or placing bids.
     Sellers must give their credit card details before being
      allowed to post items.
     Each has extensive terms and conditions detailing the
      rules and charges.
     All attempt to convey the message that their site is
      secure and they have protection against rogue ones.
Research design
   Each group was given 3 books for sale, one to
    be placed on each site.
   Course leaders placed a course text (Turban
    2000) on each site and encourages all students
    to browse for the item and if interested to make
    a bid.
   This introduced and element of competition- it
    would be possible to buy the course text (retail
    on Amazon is £30)
WebQual questionnaire
   was made available on the Internet.
Data analysis
 39 completed questionnaires.
 Questionnaire were received via e-mail,
  filtered to check for duplicates, and
  converted into SPSS.
 21 individuals bought or sold books (54%).
 Total 39 transactions were made (18:
  amazon, 14: eBay, 7: QXL).
Average and standard deviation information for the questionnaire
Importance rating
   Above upper quartile of 4.22
     Feels safe to complete transactions
     Personal information feels secure
     Can be depended upon to deliver goods/services
      promised.
     The site is easy to navigate
     Provides accurate information
     Has a good reputation
     Has trustworthy seller
   Amazon site is a clear leader, but 22, 25 and 26.
Weighted   scores= importance rating * the score for each question for each one.




      Weighted scores and the WebQual Index (WQI)
Scale reliability and question
subcategories
   More interesting is
    conceptual assessment
    of how the web sites
    differ in quality.
   For this, we need a set of
    meaningful, reliable sub-
    groupings.
   The resultant values of α
    averaged at 0.96, quite
    reliable.
   Average α>0.8=> strong
                                 Summary of reliability analysis for
    degree of stareliability
                                 questionnaire categories
Radar chart of WebQual 3.0 subcategories for the three web sites
Site analysis using question
subcategories
 Amazon UK site stands well over the two
  rivals in term of the qualities assessed.
 The indices make a clear boundary
  enveloping all competitors’ categories
  except “Auction- buying”.
 eBay, US-originated auction house, is able
  to provide a good range of products and
  competitive prices.
Quantitative analysis
   A successful auction site must
     above  all else feel secure to the user.
     need to manage the buyer/seller interaction
      carefully.
 Bad experiences with payment and
  delivery of goods will deter customers from
  using auctions.
 eBay: ability, Amazon: brand image
Conclusion
   WebQual 3.0 has been tested in the domain of
    online auctions and the results show it has a
    significant level of reliability.
   The explore of WebQual 3.0 by identifying
    auction web site characteristics will help
    organizations to improve
     Information  quality
     Interaction quality
     Site design quality

				
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