While Electronic-Commerce (EC) has become an important issue with the unprecedented proliferation of the Internet, there has been insufficient empirical research concerning the relationship of EC quality factors and purchase decision for consumers, especially of developing countries. EC purchase decision is greatly dependent on many perceived quality factors of EC. This article presents an exploratory study of a general conceptual model of perceived quality factors required for consumers purchase decisions in EC. It was observed from the investigation that the requirement for E-quality factors related to purchase decision is not the same for developing countries as found from research conducted in developed countries. Therefore, this research article attempts to find the link between personal trust disposition attitude and local environmental security concern, which are derived from country/cultural differences with perceived trustworthiness, a major quality factor for EC purchase decision. The findings have important managerial implications for the globalization of EC.
Keywords: purchase decision, EC quality factor, market segmentation, cultural difference, and developing country
EC service quality plays a central role in customers' purchase decisions through the web (Loiacono et al., 2000; Parasuraman, 2000; Rust, 2001). Low price and web presence were initially thought to be the drivers of success for Electronic-Commerce (EC); service quality issues soon became pivotal. Quality factors of any business pattern obviously set a base for prospective customers to make decisions. However, in on-line purchases managed by self service with little human interaction, many traditional service quality factors are less relevant (Zeithmal et al., 2000).
The explosive proliferation of Internet users has led to dramatic shifts in the methodology of operating business. EC presents enormous opportunities for business, consumers, and employees. Therefore, exploring quality factors of EC and its possible impact on customers' purchase decision is a wide area to investigate and understand. Some scholarly research has explored, identified, examined, and evaluated many quality factors of EC (Lee et al., 1999; Gefen et al., 2000; George, 2000; Lee et al., 2001; May et al., 2002; Tsikriktsis, 2002; Balasubramanian et al., 2003; Zhan et al., 2003; Chiu et al., 2005; Schaupp et al., 2005) which vigorously influence the most fragile and complex behavior of consumers to make purchase decisions. Under this identification and evaluation, different models related to quality factors of EC which lead to customers' purchase decision are presented in the aforementioned research papers. Consumers' purchase decisions are a very complex and robust subject. So, it is not surprising that a large and expanding field of research has been conducted focusing on consumer behavior. Consumers' purchase decisions can be defined as those activities directly associated with obtaining, consuming, and disposing of products and services (Engel et al., 1993). Consumers' purchase decisions are greatly affected and diversified by their attitudes, behavioral intent, and local environmental security perception. Therefore, understanding and estimating the effect of customers' intrinsic characteristics and pre-perceived security concern on website quality expectations that lead to customers' purchase decisions would have important managerial implications (Tsikriktsis, 2002). If the relative importance of EC quality factors to customers is likely to vary depending on their attitude and perceived security concern disposed from different societies, resource allocations on different quality factors of EC should be contingent on the importance attached to them by customers (Furrer et al., 2000).
Actually, EC customers are versatile and come from different origins. Globalization is one of the major aspects of EC. Customers of different origins greatly differ on some quality factors of EC depending on their perceived social values, security concern, personal trust disposition attitude, and overall culture. …