Website Appeal: Development of an Assessment Tool and Evaluation Framework of E-Marketing
The aim of this study is twofold; firstly, to develop a comprehensive measure that quantitatively assesses an e-store’s web appeal, and secondly, to propose a framework that evaluates effectiveness of online marketing efforts in terms of overall appeal of e-tailing sites. The paper adopts a hybrid approach to website assessment which involves studying both information system elements and dimensions of e-marketing to define and measure the concept of web appeal. A total of five information system elements and seven e-marketing elements were identified as essential components of web appeal, and were used to build a measurement instrument. The instrument’s validity was confirmed by testing it across 80 e-stores in the Middle East and its usefulness with respect to the identification of an e-store’s strengths and weaknesses was established. In addition to being a measure of overall web appeal, the instrument also contributes towards conceptualization of a theoretically sound framework that aligns elements of web appeal to e-marketing objectives. This model provides a systematic criteria for comparing websites, and offers valuable insights into how website attributes can be used to achieve desired performance in terms of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers, as well as competing with rival stores.