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Evaluating the factors of corporate website favorability: a case of UK and Russia

Elena Ageeva ( Middlesex University , London, UK)
T.C. Melewar (Middlesex University Business School, Middlesex University , London, UK)
Pantea Foroudi (Department of Marketing, Branding, and Tourism (MBT), Middlesex University London , London, UK)
Charles Dennis (Department of Marketing, Branding, and Tourism (MBT), Middlesex University London , London, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 11 November 2019

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478

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate the significance of the corporate website favorability notion and examines its factors in developing competitive advantage in the context of retail and service settings in the UK and Russia.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the attribution, social identity and signaling theories, this study adopted the qualitative exploratory approach by conducting 14 interviews with retail experts and eight focus groups with retail users in the UK and Russia, combined with experts in website design, communication and marketing.

Findings

The study findings indicated that it is crucial to build and maintain a favorable corporate website that reveals the corporate identity as part of the overall company strategy. The study suggests that navigation, visual, information, usability, customization, security, availability, website credibility, customer service, perceived corporate social responsibility and perceived corporate culture are the factors of corporate website favorability that contribute to the company’s competitive advantage. The findings show that consumers from Russia as well as from the UK found the significance of a favorable corporate website (i.e. corporate website favorability), as well as the factors affecting corporate website favorability. However, consumers in the UK are more critical and demanding in the level of expectation of the website overall and put more weight than consumers from Russia on the perceived corporate social responsibility, perceived corporate culture, customer service and website credibility.

Practical implications

Corporate website favorability should be adopted by the companies, as part of the overall corporate identity management. Furthermore, it is advised to take into consideration the variations in the level of importance of the factors of corporate website favorability in different countries. The findings of this study suggest that this investigation will make a considerable managerial contribution to the understanding of a company’s decision-makers, communication professionals and website specialists about the building of a favorable corporate website in line with corporate identity strategy of the company.

Originality/value

There has been little systematic study of the effect of corporate websites on consumer evaluations of the websites; also, there is a lack of research with regard to the factors that contribute to the development of a favorable corporate website (i.e. corporate website favorability). This is the first study of its kind to find the effect of corporate website favorability in Russia, representing a non-western country, and the UK, representing a western country. Therefore, it contributes to the corporate visual identity literature by presenting the corporate website favorability construct and demonstrating the factors that influence corporate website favorability.

Keywords

Citation

Ageeva, E., Melewar, T.C., Foroudi, P. and Dennis, C. (2019), "Evaluating the factors of corporate website favorability: a case of UK and Russia", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 687-715. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-09-2017-0122

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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