WebQual: An Instrument for Consumer Evaluation of Web Sites

Eleanor T. Loiacono, Richard T. Watson, and Dale L. Goodhue
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 11, Number 3, Spring 2007, pp. 051.

Abstract: Despite the critical need to know how consumers’ perceptions of Web sites influence their behavior, and especially their intention to revisit or purchase, there is no extant general measure for evaluating Web sites and no consensus on what such an instrument should measure. The authors used the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Technology Acceptance Model to develop the WebQual instrument for consumer evaluation of Web sites. They refined it through a literature review and interviews with Web designers and users, and tested it using four samples of Web consumers. WebQual includes 12 dimensions (informational fit-to-task, tailored information, trust, response time, ease of understanding, intuitive operations, visual appeal, innovativeness, emotional appeal, consistent image, on-line completeness, relative advantage) and shows strong measurement validity. It is a highly validated instrument that can provide both wide- and fine-grained measurements of organizational Web sites.

Key Words and Phrases
: Consumer evaluation, instrument development, TAM, Technology Acceptance Model, Theory of Reasoned Action, TRA, Web site evaluation