Website and the related e-commerce operation evaluation
Ibon Nanclares Gutiérrez - in29 12/14/2012
Word limit: Number of words:
4000 words (with 10% leeway) 4107 words – within the word limit (excluding
abstract, references, tables and charts)
Internet has become the main electronic marketplace worldwide (Bakos, 1998). There are no doubts that the website has become the key element of e-commerce. That is why I am going to evaluate Amazon’s website and the related e-commerce operation. Firstly, I am going to set up the scene briefly, explain why I choose Amazon and what the purpose of its website is. Secondly, I am going to analyse the website using Webqual 2.0, WCAG 2.0 and Amyt and Zott NICE frameworks. Finally, I am summarizing the conclusions and key issues that I found during the development of this project.
a. Setting up the scene
The aim of this essay is to analyse in depth the website of a company and the related e-commerce operation. In order to do that, I am going to focus on three key features: quality, accessibility and value creation. These key issues may be evaluated through Webqual 2.0, WCAG 2.0 and Amit & Zoot’s Value Creation Model frameworks respectively. The quality is going to be evaluated through Webqual 2.0 framework. It follows mainly a quantitative approach, although the fact that is question-based, which implies a certain level of subjectivity. Different key aspects of the website are rated in two dimensions: how successful the website is on each aspect and how important is to be successful on it for the specific website. In order to evaluate the accessibility, I am going to use WCAG 2.0 guidelines (W3C, 2008). Several guidelines are provided for each one of WCAG’s principles (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust). Each guideline focuses on a key aspect of a principle, and defines the level (A, AA, AAA) of success that a website has achieved in that field. Unlike Webqual 2.0, WCAG 2.0 is a qualitative based framework, so it has a certain level of subjectivity. Although, the framework provides a testable success criteria which helps checking if the goals have been fulfilled. In addition, a wide variety of sufficient and advisory techniques to meet each success criteria are provided. Until now, we have focus on how good the website is. However, we should not forget the key issue of any company: add value to customers (Amit & Zott, 2010). Therefore, when we design the website, it is critical that we have defined before a business model focused in value creation. Using NICE framework, I am going to analyse each one of the four key areas where a website can add value: Novelty, Lock-in, Complementarities and Efficiency. Then, I explain Amazon’s approach to e-book industry using NICE model. Finally, I point out the key areas that in my opinion, Amazon should focus to add value to customers. Finally, I summarize the key findings of my research and I highlight what are in my opinion the main issues that the company should face. These issues have to do with the fields that I have analysed during my research (quality, accessibility and value creation drivers), and are the most important factors in order to assess the success of a website and identify how can be improved.
b. My choice
In this project, I have chosen Amazon’s website to carry on my analysis. There are several reasons to do so. Firstly, Amazon is one of the most important electronic retailers of the world. In fact, it is a worldwide recognized and valued brand and their products are shipped to almost every country of the world. Secondly, they have a well 1