Evaluation of four ecommerce websites for specific website design features.
Pillay, Kirubashin Nadarajh.
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Many companies involved in the seed industry have launched ecommerce ventures, these include amongst others, Starke Ayres, Johnny's Selected and Opposition 1. Amazon.com is the undisputed leader in ecommerce retailing. There are various website design features that are available that can be used to enhance the users online experience; however the implementation of these features are inconsistent across ecommerce websites. The websites of Starke Ayres, Johnny's Selected, Opposition 1 and Amazon.com were evaluated against a list of website design features (best practices model) that would enhance the user's online experience when interacting with the website. The best practices model was setup considering the user enhancing website features that would satisfy the website functional requirements of Content, Communication, Commerce and Community, as well as user enhancement through the use of navigation features. The cluster analysis was conducted to establish the relatedness of the four websites for the implementation of the website design features identified in the best practices model. It was found that the websites used a varying number of website design features that would enhance the user's online experience. Also, none of the sites satisfied the best practices model completely, thus there is room for improvement even for Amazon.com. It was recommended that Starke Ayres and Opposition 1 commence the improvement of the website with the implementation of the low cost features which are relatively easy to implement as these would significantly improve the website without the requirement of large amount of capital. Significant investment of capital will however be required to improve the website so that it is at the cutting edge of website design. The website needs to be developed into a cutting edge website in the industry so that the company can develop its ecommerce venture into a strong competitive advantage.