The quality of websites and their impact on economic performance: The case of nurseries and gardening companies in the Italian 'Mezzogiorno' regions

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the quality of websites and the entrepreneurial perception of the importance of the website to improve the business performance in nurseries and gardening companies adopting web-marketing strategies. On this purpose, the paper firstly analyses which structural features enable a potential website to be labelled as 'good'; the awareness of these aspects is pivotal to define effective web-marketing solutions. Secondly, it examines whether the plant nursery entrepreneurs perceive the company website as a tool of additional sales able to increase the firm turnover. The results show that the websites are well framed and with a well-groomed design, but lacking in some essential functions able to improve their usability. Moreover, the surveyed companies give a little importance to the customer and community services; in fact, few of them have a chat or a forum. The adoption of the website as sales channel is hardly diffused. The website has stimulated sales that were ultimately transacted both via phone, fax and e-mail, and directly in firm. Lastly, almost all interviewees consider the website an effective tool to boost their company image, leading to an improvement in their economic performance, although not readily quantifiable.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)72-87
Numero di pagine16
RivistaInternational Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing
Volume6
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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