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Determinants of E-Commerce Websites’ User Interface: A Cross-Cultural Investigation Between Saudi Arabia and Philippines

  • Regina Garcia Almonte
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10911)

Abstract

It is an argument that the cultural background plays a significant role in the web design of different kinds of websites. Since e-commerce websites are progressing in every country due to the convenience it brings to different web users around the world, it is vital to examine the e-commerce websites as a support to the argument mentioned previously. This paper utilized ISO/IEC 9126-1 quality model criteria to assess and investigates the quality of e-commerce websites and its user interface components of two different cultures: Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. The two countries were chosen since Saudi Arabia has become one the countries where many Filipinos are required for employment due to the latter’s professional work ethics and dedication to work that made them recognized as instrumental in the growth of Saudi Arabia. A tested and validated questionnaire was used for the evaluation of the quality of e-commerce websites of the two cultures. It is found out that across the two cultures, there are significant differences in terms of the user interface components in some features of functionality, usability, and reliability but not found in efficiency component. The findings of the study should be taken into consideration for future research and for the web developers to design websites that are culturally appropriate.

Keywords

E-commerce Cross-cultural Website User interface 

1 Introduction

For over the years, online commerce has tremendously grown and continues to improve their way of serving to a great extent their target consumers. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is one of the successful online commerce, which allows exchange information and transactions through the use of electronic communication. The globalization is what makes e-commerce. With globalization, the buyer and seller come together to make transactions using electronic medium, they sign a written agreement in terms of the price and delivery options of a specific goods and services, and complete the transactions through different types of payments and have the goods and services delivered as agreed (Zhang et al. 2006). It is simply defined as selling and buying of goods and services via internet which happens between the transactions of business and consumers, businesses and businesses, consumers and consumers, and intra-companies. The higher competition among business through e-commerce has been very stiff, thus global firms engage themselves more than just having a website and offered the products and services worldwide, but realizing the fact that the virtual world of commerce must be supported with physical, financial and information processes which local companies cannot offer to consumers with convenience and economy (Totonchi and Manshady 2011; Meyer 2008). There are numerous benefits that e-commerce has to offer to businesses targeting consumers globally. First, transaction costs, which are reduced costs when consumers are dealing with e-commerce, such as: search costs that consumers do not require to go through several stores or intermediaries to search for the supplies, products and compared prices; costs of processing transactions which is an automated transactions with efficient and quicker results, and; the online transactions improves inventory management and logistics. Second, disintermediation benefit wherein suppliers can directly deal with their buyers and do not need the interference of distributors or intermediaries. Lastly, there is an increase in price transparency where buyers are able to compare the prices of one product to another before making a decision in purchasing of goods and services (Khurana et al. 2011). Since the goal of each e-commerce website is to serve the consumers worldwide at their best, it is important to note that these websites should be designed objectively by its designers and not based on their personal perceptions. Worldwide, consumers consist of users with different cultures with different preferences. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a cross cultural analysis on e-commerce websites of different cultures in website development.

Generally, the objective of this paper is to assess the quality of e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines through the use of the revised ISO/IEC 9126-1 quality criteria. Specifically, (1) to identify the user interface components that exists in e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines; (2) to evaluate and analyze if the e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines are designed based on cultures; (3) to determine if there is a significant correlation between the e-commerce websites of two cultures, and (4) to serve as a justification of the findings of number of researches that it is vital for the websites to be culturally appropriate.

This paper is organized as follows: Sect. 2 explains the user interface components of e-commerce websites; Sect. 3 provides the hypotheses that have been tested if a particular component or features have differences between the two cultures; Sect. 4 give the importance of the study; Sect. 5 presented the method of research and the research instrument that have been utilized in the study; Sect. 6 discusses the findings of the study, and; Sect. 7 provides the conclusions based on the evaluation of the results.

2 E-commerce Website’s User Interface Components

Web site development is one of the challenging tasks of every website designers most especially in the field of e-commerce were websites will accommodate users around the world. It is important that the websites that the users would like to explore and utilize to develop in a high quality graphical user interfaces are essential factors for website designers because it allows users to carry out their daily tasks by interacting with e-commerce applications via menu-driven user interface components, such as toolbars and dialog windows (Zhang et al. 2006). There is a need to accommodate the increasing requirements of the business, as a result e-commerce applications and capabilities changes in order to provide the user interfaces that are suited to their needs. On the other hand, the interface design success is beyond the pleasant appearance of the website, it is the most important phase for its success (Bodker 1991). Its role is the key factor in user satisfaction (Burns and Madey 2001). Hence, the knowledge of the users as well as their cognitive skills and their limitations should be taken into consideration in the website design process to ensure its success.

There are a number of research conducted regarding the features that should be included in e-commerce websites. According to Coopee et al. (2000), website designers should consider the inclusions of the essential features into a commercial website that they used to design and created, namely, catalog development, users tracking, payment processing, online fulfillment, web site security, privacy, business-business sales models, and business-customer sales models. In addition, Cell (2000) enumerated some guidelines to be able to create a customer friendly website. The guidelines are for the websites to make company easy to find online, keep site navigation simple and clear, give customers a reason to visit the site, make the site visually appealing, offer a menu of communications options, and answer e-mail promptly and professionally. Indeed, designing the e-commerce websites’ interface is a challenging task (Najjar 2001). The overall page format, navigation, catalog, registration, personalization, checkout, and customer service should be the inclusions of the major sections. Format download speed, the use of graphics, scrolling, and highlighted that a web designer should format the page to make it easy for users to interact with the web site by put user interface elements in familiar locations are the considerations under the web page format. In addition, search, contact us, and shopping carts are noted as an important feature of the e-commerce websites. To be able to deliver “breadcrumb” navigation page, website must show the page titles users came through to get the current page. Across cultures, the differences in the preferences and perceptions toward he design of the website really exists (Cyr and Trevor-Smith 2004). The design of the menu layout can consider the access to product info, professional design, logical info presentation, screen design, navigation, sequencing, product attributes, and product availability as an important web site features. Numerous researches revealed that the are variety of characteristics to describe websites (Tarafdar and Zhang 2006). There were five features involved: the content of information on the website, navigation characteristics, usability, personalization characteristics and the capability to cater to customized information requirements of the specific groups of customers, and the technical properties of the websites.

The revised ISO/IEC 9126-1 (2001) quality model made an end with the several arguments pertaining to the components or characteristics of e-commerce website. The model standardized the list of characteristics that must be included in every kind of software. The ISO/IEC 9126-1 model includes website quality characteristics and sub-characteristics and this will serve as a guide for software development which definitely includes e-commerce websites. The following are the characteristics defined by the model:

  1. 1.

    Functionality. It is an arrangement of qualities that bear on the presence of an arrangement of capacities and their predefined properties; the capacities are those that fulfill expressed or suggested needs (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It is the significant component of an e-commerce website because it covers the user interaction with the websites.

     
  2. 2.

    Reliability. It is an arrangement of characteristics that bear on the capacity of programming to keep up its level of execution under expressed conditions for an expressed timeframe (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It affects customer satisfaction which will lead to customer decision to purchase the goods and services that an e- commerce website has offered.

     
  3. 3.

    Usability. It is a collection of properties that bear on the effort essential to utilize, and on the individual evaluation of such use, by a stated or implicit set of users. (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It is the ease of use that e-commerce website is provided to users which will make the websites’ success.

     
  4. 4.

    Efficiency. It is a collection of properties that bear on the association between the degree of performance of the software and the amount of resources utilized, under expressed conditions (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It covers the performance of the e-commerce websites and the promptness of the website when the user is trying to access a particular section of the website.

     
  5. 5.

    Maintainability. It is an arrangement of properties to bear the effort required to build particular modifications (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It is the way of the website in dealing with the errors that users might encounter.

     
  6. 6.

    Portability. It is a collection of properties that bear on the capability of software to transfer from one environment to another (ISO/IEC 9126-1 2001; Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). It is the ability of the e-commerce website when the users decided to access in different kinds of browsers, whether it would have a compatibility issue or not.

     

3 Hypotheses of the Study

The following are the hypotheses of the study:

  • H1: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its functionality component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

  • H2: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its usability component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

  • H3: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its reliability component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

  • H4: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its efficiency component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

  • H5: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its maintainability component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

  • H6: There is a variance in e-commerce website features concerning its portability component between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

4 Significance of the Study

The study is beneficial to the following:

  • Web site designers to be able to develop a quality e-commerce websites across cultures. To develop a website that is not based on personal preferences of web designers is a significant factor of website development. This study will assist the designers to develop and design a website which will be effective for all kinds of people from all walks of life.

  • Government sectors and private companies or institutions to be able to provide their target users worldwide, an e-commerce website that is culturally appropriate.

  • Future researchers to be able to have a foundation or initial investigation in more in-depth analysis of e-commerce website development.

5 Research Methodology

Saudi Arabia and the Philippines were selected because the two countries possess distinctly different cultural features which were clearly revealed in Hofstede’s (2005) cultural dimensions: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation. Ever since e-commerce has been introduced worldwide, the users from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines have seen the values and conveniences that e-commerce has provided for them. The adoption of e-commerce is progressing for the two countries. Aside from these facts, the two countries were chosen because they have bilateral relations of which clearly seen in Saudi Arabia allows millions of Filipinos are able to work in different companies in Saudi Arabia.

As shown in Table 1, twenty e-commerce websites which include the top and most commonly used e-commerce websites in the two countries and they were selected for evaluation of the components of a standard quality model. There are three procedures involved in this study. First is to identify the characteristics of each component of the websites which is based on the revised ISO/IEC 9126-1 model. Second is to evaluate each websites characteristics or features through the use of tested and validated questionnaire (Al-Safadi and Garcia 2012). Last procedure was the invitation of the two design experts on e-commerce websites from Saudi Arabia and Philippines who evaluated each feature of the websites. In their evaluation using the tested questionnaire, the evaluator indicated 0 if the feature is not present in the e-commerce website and 1 if it is present in the website.
Table 1.

Online shopping websites in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines

After gathering the information needed for the study, analysis of the results has been taking place. In the study descriptive method of research was utilized to identify the features of the e-commerce websites involved in the study. And to test the significant differences between the two cultures, an inferential statistic was employed through the use of chi-square (x2) test. The following formulas were used:
  1. 1.
    $$ {\text{x}}^{2} = \, \sum {\left( {{\text{Actual Count }}{-}{\text{ Expected Count}}} \right)^{2} } /{\text{Expected Count}} $$
     
  2. 2.
    $$ {\text{degrees of freedom}}({\text{df}}) = (\# \_{\text{of}}\_{\text{rows}} - 1)(\# \_{\text{of}}\_{\text{columns}} - 1) $$
     

It was expected that the two cultures will reveal that there is significant differences with e-commerce website quality characteristics between two cultures.

6 Results and Discussion

The results of the e-commerce website quality characteristics are shown in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Table 2.

Functionality

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Searching and Retrieving

Quick search

12

13

12.5

0.040

1

0.841

Advanced search

6

4

5.0

0.400

1

0.527

Average level of retrieving customization

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Navigation and Browsing

Orientation

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Average links per page

19

20

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Presentation permanence

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Stability of sub-sites controls

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Vertical level of scrolling

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Horizontal level of scrolling

0

1

0.5

0.000

1

1.000

Links title with explanatory help

0

0

0.0

0.000

1

1.000

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is significant difference

Table 3.

Functionality

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Navigation and Browsing

Links comment or description

0

0

0.0

0.000

1

1.000

Quick browse

19

19

19.0

0.000

1

1.000

Products

Textual description

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Contents and structure

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Image

20

0

10.0

20.000

1

0.000*

Evaluation and comparison

2

1

1.5

0.000

1

1.000

Rating

0

5

2.5

3.200

1

0.074

Related product recommendation

8

1

4.5

4.000

1

0.046

Catalog download facility

4

2

3.0

0.167

1

0.683

Product personalization

0

20

10.0

20.000

1

0.000*

Top products

2

7

4.5

4.000

1

0.046*

Best seller products

2

8

5.0

3.600

1

0.058

Purchase

Shopping basket

10

14

12.0

0.667

1

0.414

Continues buying feedback

0

0

0.0

0.000

1

1.000

Edit/recalculate feature

10

12

11.0

0.182

1

0.670

Full integration of payment provider

10

16

13.0

1.385

1

0.239

Forms of payment via credit card

10

16

13.0

1.385

1

0.239

Forms of payment via bank transfer

10

17

13.5

1.815

1

0.178

Forms of payment via PayPal

6

13

9.5

2.579

1

0.108

Forms of payment via Google checkout

0

3

1.5

0.000

1

1.000

Other forms of payment

9

16

12.5

1.960

1

0.162

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 4.

Functionality

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Printable check-out form for offline transaction

13

10

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Fax/Telephone/Email purchase

8

9

8.5

0.059

1

0.808

Quick purchase

10

13

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Checkout security

9

14

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Cancelling feedback

9

14

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Purchase cancellation policy

7

14

10.5

2.333

1

0.127

Return policy

7

15

11.0

2.909

1

0.088

Shipping and handling policies

7

17

12.0

4.167

1

0.041*

Payment policy

7

16

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Recent purchase (gift service)

0

9

4.5

4.000

1

0.046*

Multiple delivery options

1

17

9.0

14.222

1

0.000*

Customer

      

e-subscriptions

7

7

7.0

0.000

1

1.000

Account availability

14

20

17.0

1.059

1

0.303

Account security

14

20

17.0

1.059

1

0.303

Account settings

14

20

17.0

1.059

1

0.303

Wish list

4

3

3.5

0.000

1

1.000

Promotion

With-sale

11

6

8.5

1.471

1

0.225

Appetizer promotions (e.g. contests, miles, etc.)

14

9

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 5.

Functionality

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Order Management

Order history

13

16

14.5

0.310

1

0.577

Order tracking

1

16

8.5

1.471

1

0.225

Services

      

Discussion forums

2

11

6.5

6.231

1

0.013

Surveys/Polls

1

0

0.5

0.000

1

1.000

Newsletter

5

11

8.0

2.250

1

0.134

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 6.

Usability

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Global Site Understandability

Table of contents

0

0

0.0

0.000

1

1.000

Sitemap

5

1

3.0

1.500

1

0.221

Alphabetical/subject index

1

3

2.0

0.250

1

0.617

Text labels

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Picture labels

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Images

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Guide tour for first time visitors

2

2

2.0

0.250

1

0.617

Help Features

Global help

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Search help

19

20

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Purchase help

7

16

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Checkout help

7

14

10.5

2.333

1

0.127

Email directory

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Telephone/Fax directory

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Post Mail list

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

FAQ feature

9

14

11.5

0.391

1

0.532

Real-time customer service

18

19

18.5

0.027

1

0.869

Comments/suggestions

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Interface and Aesthetic Features (include presentation permanence and stability of controls)

Main control

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Search control

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Browse control

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Account control

14

20

17.0

1.059

1

0.303

Shopping basket control

12

15

13.5

0.333

1

0.564

Indirect controls

6

8

7.0

0.000

1

1.000

Control’s stability

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Link color style consistency

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 7.

Usability

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Aesthetic designs

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Miscellaneous

Foreign language support

20

1

10.5

17.190

1

0.000*

What’s new feature

10

14

12.0

0.667

1

0.414

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 8.

Maintainability

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Maintainability

Link errors

Broken links

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Invalid links

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Unimplemented links

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 9.

Maintainability and Reliability

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Maintainability

Miscellaneous errors and drawbacks

Different browsers

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Browser independent

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Dead-end web nodes

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Destination nodes under construction

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Reliability

Accuracy and relevance of information

      

Testimonials display

3

6

4.5

4.000

1

0.046*

References or links pro-vision

1

0

0.5

0.000

1

1.000

List of physical address of the office

9

16

12.5

1.960

1

0.162

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

Table 10.

Efficiency

Variables

Actual count

Expected count

X2

df

Sig. Level

Saudi Arabia

Philippines

Efficiency

Quick pages

20

19

19.5

0.026

1

0.873

Quick checkout and payment

8

14

11.0

2.909

1

0.088

Portability

Support for text-only version

0

0

0.0

0.000

1

1.000

Image title

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Global readability

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

Browsers’ version who do not support frames

0

2

1.0

0.500

1

0.480

Mobile device accessibility

20

20

20.0

0.000

1

1.000

* Sig. Level <0.05, there is a significant difference

In terms of functionality component of e-commerce website and in support for H1, there were six significant differences under this component among the two cultures. These findings indicate a support for H1. There are 73% of Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce websites have searching and retrieving category while 71% in the Philippines. Under navigation and browsing category, 67% of the Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce website has this, while 68% in the Philippines. There is only one e-commerce website that uses “horizontal level of scrolling” feature, but none of the e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia. With regards to “link title with explanatory help” and “links comment or descriptions” are not utilized by most of the e-commerce websites of both cultures. Under products category, 26% of the Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce website contains this while 35% in the Philippines. The “product rating” category is not being utilized by the e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and only 5 e-commerce websites have this feature in the Philippines. In purchase category, 37% of the e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia includes this while a higher percentage of 71% in the Philippines. The form of payment through Google checkout is not being used by e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia, but 3 e-commerce websites have this in e-commerce websites in the Philippines. There is no e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia have used “recent purchase (gift service)” feature, but 9 e-commerce websites in the Philippines. And the “multiple delivery options” is being used by only one e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia, but there are quite higher score of 17 e-commerce websites have utilized this in the Philippines. The form of payment that is widely used in Saudi Arabia is through SADAD payment system. In customer category, 42% in Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce website and half of the number of websites in the Philippines that are evaluated in this study have this feature. Inclusion of “wish list” feature is not commonly used in e-commerce website of two cultures having 4 websites in Saudi Arabia and 3 websites in the Philippines. In promotion category, 63% of the Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce websites includes this, but only 38% of the websites in the Philippines. In order management category, 80% of the e-commerce websites in the Philippines contains this, but only 35% in Saudi Arabia. There is only 1 e-commerce website in Saudi Arabia uses “order tracking” feature while a quite higher score of 16 e-commerce websites in the Philippines. And in services category, both e-commerce website of the two cultures have quite lower percentage: 13% of Saudi Arabia’s and 37% in the Philippines. The use of “survey/polls” feature is not popular in both cultures.

In terms of usability component of e-commerce website and in support for H2, there is one significant difference under this component among the two cultures. This finding indicates a support for H2. The global site understandability category is moderately used in e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. The use “table of contents” feature is not popular in e-commerce websites both cultures. The utilization of “alphabetical/subject index” feature is not widely used in e-commerce websites of both cultures having only 1 website in Saudi Arabia and 3 websites in the Philippines. The inclusions of “guided tour for first time visitor” can be found in just 2 e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia and 2 websites in the Philippines. In help category, 82% of the e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia includes this feature and a higher percentage of 91% in the Philippines. In interface and aesthetic category that covers presentation permanence and stability of controls, 82% of the e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia has this feature and 71% in the Philippines. The miscellaneous category includes “foreign language support” and “What’s new”, 75% of Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce websites has this feature but a lower percentage of 385 in the Philippines. The “foreign language support” is widely used in e-commerce websites in Saudi Arabia, but contrary with websites in the Philippines.

In terms of maintainability component of e-commerce website, there is no variance between the two cultures. On the other hand, there is one significant difference under reliability component between the two cultures. This finding indicates a support for H3. A very remarkable higher percentage was gained by the response of the e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and the Philippines when it comes to link errors, miscellaneous errors and drawbacks features. Most of the e-commerce websites of the two cultures handles such errors in a controlled manner providing display messages to users. While in accuracy and relevance of information, a lower percentage was given to the e-commerce websites of both cultures having a percentage of 38% in Saudi Arabia and 40% in the Philippines. The utilization of “references or links” feature is not popular in most of e-commerce websites of both cultures.

There is no significant difference between the two cultures in terms of efficiency and portability components of an e-commerce website. However, the results shown in Table 10 revealed that under performance feature, Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce websites gained 70% and 83% in the Philippines. The accessibility feature has been moderately used by the e-commerce websites of both cultures having 50% in Saudi Arabia and 53% in the Philippines. No e-commerce website in both cultures utilized the “support for text-only” version.

In general, the results of the study indicate that in terms of functionality, usability, and reliability component of e-commerce website variance in some of its features exist between the two cultures. The two countries have common characteristics pertaining to high-context cultures (Hall and Hall 1990) which support the claim of Hofstede’s (2005) cultural dimensions that the two cultures both have higher power distance, collectivist and masculine society. People from high-context cultures emphasize interpersonal relationships and they are relational, collectivist, intuitive, and contemplative type of people (Hall and Hall 1990).

7 Conclusion

The study supports the argument that there is a significant difference exists on e-commerce websites of different cultures. With the findings of the study, it is important for the web developers to consider the features that have significant differences when improving an existing website or designing a new one. It is essential for the websites to be culturally appropriate most especially that the e-commerce websites’ target users are users across different cultures.

This study has limitations that should be taken into consideration for future research related to cross-analysis of e-commerce websites. First, the study covers only twenty e-commerce websites of Saudi Arabia and of the Philippines; a higher number of websites that will be included in the study will further justify that there are differences in web design of e-commerce websites of different cultures. And second, both of the countries included in the study are both from Asia; if the two countries are from different continents then it could possibly provide major differences in the design of e-commerce websites.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City College of Calamba (CCC)Calamba CityPhilippines

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