Dimensions of critical factors that impact online retailing (e‐quality) are synthesized from the literature and organized along the four phases of a consumer’s online shopping experience: encountering the online retailer’s home page, selecting a product from the online catalog, completing the order form and accessing customer service and support. Using a random sample of 55 online retailers, the study benchmarks real online transactions against these e‐quality dimensions. Findings suggest several areas that e‐retailers should target for improvement. These areas include increasing the speed of home page loading, providing the ability to translate into multiple languages, enhancing the capabilities of search engines, displaying security policies more conspicuously, offering multiple payment options, and reducing the minimum number of clicks to complete a transaction. The final phase of the online shopping experience, customer service and support, seems to offer the most room for improvement in the areas of instant automated merchant notification of orders and on time delivery.
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