A Study of the Factors Contributing to E-Commerce System Success in Taiwan
E-commerce systems are now widely used in businesses and organizations all over the world. Their success is essential for the success of the organizations that use them. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to e-commerce system success. In this paper, Wang offers the presentation and validation of a multidimensional model of e-commerce system success that is modified and empirically tested.
2. Literature review
There is a growing body of literature on e-commerce success (i.e., Bawa et al., 2001; Chellappa & Kauffman, 2000; Dwivedi et al., 2000; Gefen, 2002; Jayawardhena et al., 2000; Swanson, 1999). However, most of this literature has been concerned with the success of individual firms’ e-commerce initiatives (i.e., firm-level studies). Fewer studies have been conducted at the level of the e-commerce system itself (i.e., system-level studies).
The few system-level studies that do exist have used different theoretical frameworks and models to explain e-commerce success. For example, Limayem et al. (2001) usedisoft’s Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to examine how perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness affect end users’ acceptance and adoption of an e-commerce system in a business-to-consumer context. In a business-to-business context, Heeks (1999) used a transaction cost analysis framework to examine how electronic marketplaces can create value for buyers and sellers.
The most widely used framework for explaining e-commerce success at thesystem level is DeLone and McLean’s IS Success Model (1992, 2003). This framework has been used in numerous studies (e.g., Gefen et al., 2003; Liang & Xuegui, 2003; Lennon & Mauborgne, 1999; Rayport & Sviokla, 1995; Swan & Newell, 2002). DeLone and McLean’s model has also been extended and applied to different types of e-commerce systems, such as electronic marketplaces (Chellappa & Kauffman, 2000) and online customer support systems (Wixom & Todd, 2005).
3. Theoretical framework
Wang uses DeLone and McLean’s IS Success Model as the theoretical framework for this study. This model has six dimensions of IS success: information quality, system quality, service quality, usefulness, user satisfaction, and net benefits. The relationships between these dimensions are summarized in Figure 1 below.
System quality is measured by functionality, flexibility, usability, performance, and security. Service quality is measured by availability, reliability, responsiveness, customer service, and customer training. Information quality is measured by accuracy, completeness, consistency, timeliness, and accessibility.User satisfaction is a function of system quality, service quality,and information quality.Usefulness is a function of user satisfaction and individual impact.Net benefits are a function of usefulness and organizational impact. Individual impact is measured by task compliance, efficiency, effectiveness,and user error rates. Organizational impact is measured by Return on Investment (ROI), productivity,and competitive advantage.
The study was conducted in Taiwan. A total of 300 questionnaires were sent to managers of firms that had implemented e-commerce systems. The response rate was 45%. The data were analyzed using Partial Least Squares (PLS) techniques.
5. Results and discussion
The results showed that information quality, system quality, and service quality have a direct impact on user satisfaction. Information quality has the strongest impact, followed by system quality and then service quality. User satisfaction, in turn, has a direct impact on usefulness. Usefulness has a direct impact on net benefits. Finally, net benefits have an indirect impact on organizational impact through individual impact. The results also showed that system quality has a direct impact on usefulness. However, service quality does not have a direct impact on usefulness. These results suggest that the DeLone and McLean model needs to be respecified for the Taiwanese context.
This study makes several contributions to the IS success literature. First, it is one of the few studies to empirically test the DeLone and McLean model in a Taiwanese context. Second, the study provides evidence that the model needs to be respecified for the Taiwanese context. In particular, the study found that service quality does not have a direct impact on usefulness in Taiwan. This is in contrast to previous studies that have found a direct relationship between these two constructs (e.g., Gefen et al., 2003; Liang & Xuegui, 2003).