Effect of Web Channel Richness and Web Information Richness On Satisfaction and Learning: A Study of Simple and Complex Products
Keywords:Survey research, Web-site richness, Web design, Product complexity, E-commerce, B2C, Internet, Web satisfaction
AbstractThe present paper addresses the following question: What are the effects of web channel richness and web information richness on learning about a product and browsing satisfaction? Based on the extant literature in communications and in marketing, we argue that the effects of web channel richness and web information richness will depend on the complexity of products sold. Two hundred and seven professionals, managers, and students browsed 22 web pages selling either complex or simple products. The results indicate that when individuals browsed for complex products satisfaction depended on both informational richness and channel richness. Satisfaction was highest when the two type of richness were high and satisfaction was lowest when both types were low. Learning, on the other hand depended on the informational richness of a web page. Contrary to the expectations, web page richness was also important for learning and satisfaction when browsing for simple products. Satisfaction depended on both web information and web channel richness, whereas learning was higher when the informational richness of a web page was high. This paper contributes to the literature by developing concepts that can serve as the theoretical foundations for studying web site richness. It helps in understanding the relative impacts of the richness of the information presented on a web site and of the richness of the communication tools used. As such, it can help managers and IS professionals to better understand how to effectively design web sites.
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