An Evaluation of Cyber-Bookshops: The WebQual Method

Stuart J. Barnes and Richard Vidgen
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 6, Number 1, Fall 2001, pp. 11.

Abstract: This paper describes the use of WebQual 2.0 to evaluate Internet bookshop Web sites. Initially applied in the domain of information-intensive Web sites, WebQual 2.0 has been extended and refined to encompass an interaction-quality perspective on e-commerce Web sites. Its development draws on an analysis of the service-quality literature. WebQual assesses Web site quality from the “voice of the customer” perspective, an approach adopted in quality-function deployment. It is used to assess customer perceptions of on-line bookshops, one of the more mature areas of Internet commerce. Three UK-based Internet bookshops are assessed using a natural experiment. Data are collected from students using an on-line questionnaire. Analysis of the results demonstrates considerable variations in the offerings of the Web sites. The findings and their implications for e-commerce are discussed, and conclusions and directions for further research are provided.

Key Words and Phrases: On-line bookshop, quality-function deployment, SERVQUAL, WebQual.