Turning Visitors into Customers: A Usability-Centric Perspective on Purchase Behavior in Electronic Channels

Viswanath Venkatesh, Ritu Agarwal
2006 Management science  
The primary objective of this paper is to develop a theoretical model for predicting purchase behavior in electronic channels. We employ web site use (i.e., technology use behavior), a key indicator of the degree to which a site is "sticky" in that it attracts users often and retains them for longer periods of time, as a predictor of purchase behavior. Further, we relate usability, a construct that has been the focus of HCI and IS research, to use behavior and purchase behavior. Specifically,
more » ... dividual characteristics and product type are expected to differentially influence the weights that customers place on the five categories of usability studied here. The weighted ratings of the five categories together determine use behavior and purchase behavior, after controlling for purchase need, experience with similar sites, and previous purchase on the specific sites. The proposed model was tested in a longitudinal field study where 757 customers provided usability assessments for multiple web sites from four different industry sectors-i.e., airlines, online bookstores, automobile manufacturers, and car rental agencies. Six months later, 370 of these individuals provided responses to help understand the transition from "visitor" to "customer," i.e., actually transacted with a specific web site. Results provided strong support for the model. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are offered.
doi:10.1287/mnsc.1050.0442 fatcat:743ynohsujhoraxk7mvkvdcwhq