Sensitivity of Electronic Commerce Measurement to the Survey Instrument

Vasja Vehovar, Katja Lozar Manfreda, and Zenel Batagelj
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 6, Number 1, Fall 2001, pp. 31.

Abstract: Sample surveys are increasingly being used to measure electronic commerce activities. They often play a key role in efforts to describe and understand e-commerce phenomena, particularly in respect to attitudes, motives, and intentions. This paper studies establishment surveys of e-commerce, focusing especially on the sensitivity of the results to the measurement instrument. Several survey modes are compared, with special attention to the Web as a possible alternative to more expensive telephone and mail data-collection techniques. Controlled experiments show that e-commerce survey topics are sensitive to the measurement instrument, and especially to the Web questionnaire. In consequence, precise elaboration of the methodology is important when interpreting survey findings related to e-commerce.

Key Words and Phrases: E-commerce measurement, Internet surveys, survey costs, total survey error, Web surveys.