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Usability beyond the website: an empirically-grounded e-commerce evaluation instrument for the total customer experience

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A customer's experience with an e-commerce environment extends beyond the interaction with the website, including delivery of products, post-sales support, consumption of products and services, and so on. It is the total customer experience that influences the customers' perceptions of value and service quality, and which consequently affects customer loyalty. In our cross-disciplinary research in human–computer interaction (HCI) and relationship marketing, we have been investigating how HCI and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies can be integrated in the design of e-commerce so as to engender customer retention, trust and loyalty. We have performed a series of empirical studies to understand customers' requirements and perceptions about service-quality from e-shopping and e-travel environments. From these studies, we have developed an empirically-grounded evaluation instrument, E-SEQUAL, which we discuss in this paper. The development team can apply it at different phases of an e-commerce development life-cycle to integrate customers' perceived dimensions of service quality into the design and evaluation of e-commerce.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Computing, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK 2: Ease of Use, IBM UK Ltd, Warwick, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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