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What users want in e-commerce design: effects of age, education and income

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Preferences for certain characteristics of an online shopping experience may be related to demographic data. This paper discusses the characteristics of that experience, demographic data and preferences by demographic group. The results of an online survey of 488 individuals in the United States indicate that respondents are generally satisfied with their online shopping experiences, with security, information quality and information quantity ranking first in importance overall. The sensory impact of a site ranked last overall of the seven characteristics measured. Preferences for these characteristics in e-commerce sites were differentiated by age, education and income. The sensory impact of sites became less important as respondents increased in age, income or education. As the income of respondents increased, the importance of the reputation of the vendor rose. Web site designers may incorporate these findings into the design of e-commerce sites in an attempt to increase the shopping satisfaction of their users. Results from the customer relationship management portion of the survey suggest that current push technologies and site personalization are not an effective means of achieving user satisfaction.
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Keywords: Demographics; E-commerce; Satisfaction; Survey

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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