Web Assessment - Measuring the Effectiveness of Electronic Commerce Sites Going Beyond Traditional Marketing Paradigms
Successfully conducting business on the Internet calls for new marketing paradigms that meet the requirements of the unique combination of its inherent characteristics: electronic markets, technological platform, and marketing issues. In this context, electronic markets are the framework in which market transactions are performed on the Internet. Underlying Internet technology forces marketing activities to be different from the ones applied to traditional sales channels and performance marketing is the essential ingredient for creating the best offering for the customer. The Web Assessment model unites these constituting characteristics into one approach for the evaluation of commercial Web sites. The Web Assessment methodology has been developed over the last one and a half years and the initial ideas have already been presented at conferences on information systems (, ). Based upon the Web Assessment methodology a software tool was created in order to enable Web users to make an online evaluation of their favorite Web sites. The paper describes the underlying model and presents the first observations which could be made when using the tool. The findings outlined in this paper were collected from participating Internet users who completed the online questionnaire. The data is a collection of subjective user assessments of various Internet commerce applications. There are various kinds of observations which can be made with the Web Assessment tool. We selected examples portraying a "single company profile" and an "inter-business comparison". The inter-business comparisons is explored in more detail using the examples of two bookstores – the already legendary virtual Amazon.com versus the traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble.