Analysis of e-commerce sites using the 7C Framework, by developing a software tool
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Citation:Yang, C-H. (2016). Analysis of e-commerce sites using the 7C Framework, by developing a software tool. [An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of] Master of Computing, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3592
Businesses are moving rapidly to leverage the internet to market and sell their products through virtual stores or websites. The success of an enterprise is directly linked to e-commerce quality, and for businesses to remain competitive, evaluation of their e-commerce quality is important. The primary research question: • Whey evaluation is important? Sub Research Questions: • Why 7Cs have been used? • Will automatic evaluation using a tool work reliably and accurately? The objective of this paper is to develop an automated framework to evaluate the quality of a number of e-commerce solutions systematically through use of a tool, and to determine the value of such an approach. The 7C Framework was used as the reference for the study because of its unbiased approach in emphasising the communication channels between the business and consumer in delivering the core value proposition. This approach was combined with web data mining, where an application was developed to extract elements from the HTML in web pages by accessing their hyperlinks. By mapping the elements within the 7C Framework against those extracted from a web page, a consistent approach was determined that can be replicated to analyse websites. Using this data, an analysis was done, covering as many elements within the 7C Framework as possible. Scores were assigned to each of the user-facing elements of the 7C Framework based on what the application detected, and the final score for each e-commerce solution was the sum of scores for each element. Our analysis was performed by running the application on a selection of B2C and C2C sites of varying scale and user base, such as Amazon, eBay, TradeMe and Walmart, where it was found that that larger sites such as eBay scored higher and sites that were limited to a smaller demographic such as TradeMe appeared to score lower. No website performed poorly overall, which was to be expected, as all e-commerce sites used are established and are considered successful within their own target demographics. Overall, we can conclude that our approach generates results that are representative of e-commerce success and further work should be undertaken to utilise the merits of the approach investigated more fully in this effort.