Economics and Value of Information Systems


After more than ten years of widespread use of e-commerce, there are still only a few models to specify the connectionbetween consumer acceptance and the characteristics of an online shop. In particular, the available literature does not provideany constructs to evaluate the most basic functionality of an online shop: its search features. In this paper we describe ashopping experiment to validate a model that includes consumer characteristics as well as consumers' evaluations of a shop’ssearch features. Results demonstrate that (i) contrary to consumer research findings, only consumer involvement influencesthe consumers’ evaluation of the online shop, not the prior product knowledge; (ii) the relevance of search results and theevaluation of filtering mechanisms have a major impact on the perceived usefulness of the shop; and (iii) the ease of use ofthe shop does not affect perceived usefulness, as this relationship is fully mediated by the perceived costs of the informationsearch process.