Title: First impressions count: exploring the importance of website categorisation

Authors: Anjala S. Krishen

Addresses: Department of Marketing and International Business, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-6010, USA

Abstract: Grounded in categorisation theory, this exploratory research provides insights regarding how consumers initially perceive websites - as images rather than 'clickable' interfaces. According to this view, at first glance, consumers categorise websites with respect to some set of attributes, much as they categorise products or retailscapes. Similarity judgements are gathered from survey data using the Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) technique. Results show four salient attributes - uniqueness, educational value, personalisation, and trustworthiness. The main substantive contribution of this paper is the application of perceptual mapping to study and categorise static websites, and the finding that the non-dynamic attributes of uniqueness, educational value, personalisation, and trustworthiness are as important with i-branding as with retail branding. A methodological novelty is that rather than relying on consumer self-report regarding attributes of the websites, the present research utilises similarity scaling technique to capture website perceptions through indirect measures.

Keywords: e-tailing; MDS; multidimensional scaling; website design; perceptual mapping; categorisation theory; online trust; website categorisation; consumer perception; uniqueness; educational value; personalisation; trustworthiness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2013.054300

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2013 Vol.47 No.1, pp.32 - 43

Published online: 03 Jun 2013 *

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