offerings are four powerful predictors of customer satisfaction ( β =0.31, 0.25, 0.20 and 0.19 respectively). However, the factor, security and privacy, has no significant impact on overall satisfaction. Thus, H1 is partially supported. In the Internet-based market, customers essentially expect correct services, accurate transactions and records, and prompt delivery either digitally or physically. Customer services are also one of the important antecedents of satisfaction (Anderson et al., 1994). Company employees should have adequate knowledge to answer customer questions, properly handle problems that arise, understand customer specific needs, and address complaints in an amiable manner. As a unique aspect of electronic commerce, ease of use includes such Web-related aspects as
- 14 - web site usage, menu design, information organization and structure, and transaction functions. In contrast to the findings of Szymanski and Hise(2000), the study found that a product/service offering is a significant indicator of overall satisfaction. The differences between the two studies may lie on the nature of the samples employed. The studies' sample mainly includes financial service users who might have different demands from online merchandise shoppers in terms of the importance of product and service offerings. Merchandise shoppers may find it relatively easy to browse multiple online stores and locate desired products. Financial service users, however, are subject to switching costs and usually have more difficulty in managing multiple online accounts concurrently just to obtain desired services. Thus, providing appropriate service offerings appears to be more desirable. The finding that security and privacy do not significantly impact on overall satisfaction was consistent with results discovered by Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2000) in their study of service quality dimensions of e-tailings: "In the study's focus groups, online consumers suggested that they had difficulty judging the privacy and security of a site, even after checking that the site was secure when making transactions and after reading a statement of privacy that in their minds was legalistic. It appears that initially, consumers judge security/privacy based on elements such as the professional appearance and feel of the Web site, as well as the functionality of a Web site, and company reputation." In other words, it appears that customers experience difficulty in judging the security and privacy of a site in a direct way. Additionally, as increasing numbers of customers have learned to conduct online transactions, they may have more confidence with service providers and consider security and privacy as necessary characteristics. Nevertheless, given the significant effect of security and privacy on three behavioral consequences, i.e., recommendation, repurchase intention, and price sensitivity, managers are well-advised to take steps which provide acceptable levels of these attributes.
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