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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

Ruben Huertas‐Garcia, Agusti Casas‐Romeo and Esther Subira

Internet is set to be one of the main channels of distribution in the future and already greatly facilitates product evaluation thanks to the information available on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet is set to be one of the main channels of distribution in the future and already greatly facilitates product evaluation thanks to the information available on the net. The main advantages of electronic shopping over other channels include the reduced costs of searching for products and for product‐related information. Research has stressed the importance of quality information in web site design. The perceived utility of a web site depends on the perceived utility of its content (i.e. quality of information on product characteristics) and its presentation of that content. This paper compares the ways in which a web site's content and content presentation affect the product choice of two consumer groups from different cultures. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct an exploratory study to determine the key factors which may be used in a later conclusive research. The authors propose a tool based on the statistical design of experiments to determine the number of significant factors used by two market segments (Spanish and US students) when selecting a bottle of wine sold via a web site.

Findings

The authors identify key extrinsic factors of consumers' perceived utility when selecting a bottle of wine from a web site and analyse whether cross‐cultural aspects are significant in this choice. The authors assume that web site evaluations made by users from different geographical areas reflect their preferences for more familiar designs.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size does not enable us to determine the significance of certain variables. Moreover, the sample is not fully representative of the overall consumer population, and so inferences cannot be made about all consumers. However, since the study is exploratory with a theoretical content, the results can be considered valid.

Practical implications

Web page designers need to take into account the cultural characteristics of their target market in the presentation and content of their sites.

Originality/value

The internet marketing literature considers cultural differences in web design as a tool to improve user confidence and attitude. However, few studies have examined the effects of the cultural adaptation of web sites on user evaluations. Here, the authors propose a straightforward procedure for calculating the main effects of web site attributes. Yates' algorithm and the normal probability plot, proposed by Daniel, can be implemented in any spread sheet.

Content available

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 42 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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