Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business (Hons.)

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management.

Abstract

The Internet is fast becoming an important product and service information source. Consumers are using the medium for gathering information on products and services. The Internet has unique characteristics, which makes it a powerful medium for communication. However, what is the perception of the product and service information on the Internet? This study aims to contribute to an understanding of consumers' perception of product and service information on the Internet. The research is exploratory in nature. Consumers' perceptions towards the Internet as a product and service information source were measured along a construct relating to perceptions towards the Internet information. A self-administered questionnaire was employed to capture the perceptions of 300 participants. Descriptive statistics and multivariate techniques, including Factor Analysis, Discriminant Analysis and Cluster Analysis, were used in the data analysis. The study found interesting differences in the perceptions held by participants on the product and service information on the Internet. The findings suggest that participants have highly positive perceptions on the wide coverage, currency, relevancy, and depth of product and service information on the Internet. They also have moderately positive perceptions on the credentials of the information providers as being knowledgeable, qualified and experts. However, on the most important evaluative criteria of trustworthiness (fairness, honesty and unbiasness) of the information on the Internet, participants have weak and less positive perceptions. Factor Analysis revealed that there are three important dimensions in the perception of information on the Internet -quality, authority and scope. Cluster Analysis and Discriminant Analysis was then conducted to explore the similarity and differences between groups on those three dimensions. The Cluster Analysis revealed that there are four distinct clusters - Highly Specific Information Seekers, Disillusioned Information Seekers, Undirected Information Seekers and Intuitive Information Seekers. The Discriminant Analysis revealed that the variables in the study (i.e. gender, level of Internet experience, age and income) are not powerful predictors of the participants' perceptions of the product and service information on the Internet. The implications of the findings for marketers are discussed.

Included in

E-Commerce Commons

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