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Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Tourism Management
journal homepage:

Travel web-site design: Information task-fit, service quality and

purchase intention
Adenekan (Nick) Dedeke*
D'Amore-McKim School of Business, 220 D Hayden Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115-5000, USA

h i g h l i g h t s

 Website design quality impacts purchase intent.

 Website design quality impacts product quality.
 Product quality impacts purchase intent.
 Information-task fit impacts product quality.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Several studies have explored how buyers form intentions to purchase products online. However, few
Received 18 May 2015 studies have focused on the role that information-task fit and website design quality exert on perceived
Received in revised form service quality and purchase intent. The data used for this study was gathered during experiments
1 January 2016
conducted on Amazon's Mechanical Turk's crowd sourcing platform. The results indicated that website
Accepted 1 January 2016
Available online xxx
design influenced perceived product quality and online purchase intentions. The implications of these
results for future research and website design are presented.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Website design quality
Product quality
Empirical research
Purchase intentions
Information-task fit

1. Introduction Internet to search and purchase their trips. Given the growth and
the challenges of the deployment of e-commerce technologies for
E-commerce websites enable firms to offer a greater product tourism, research in this area has been growing since the 1990s. In
selection and higher efficiency to customers than do physical-retail seeking a better understanding of the impacts of e-commerce, re-
outlets (Ghose, Smith, and Telang (2006). However, customers buy searchers have explored several broad issues. First, some studies
more online owing to the effectiveness of e-commerce channels have investigated how website attributes could be analyzed and
(Carroll & Siguaw, 2003; O'Connor & Frew, 2004). Ecommerce has quantified as website quality (Chung & Law, 2003; Morrison, Taylor,
also increased disintermediation (Garces, Gorgemans, Sanchez, & Morrison, & Morrison, 1999). Second, other studies have investi-
Perez, 2004) and increased price competition (O'Connor, 2003) gated how a specified set of individuals respond to different types
partly because of the pricing transparency (O'Connor & Frew, 2004) of website attributes (Shankar, Smith, & Rangaswamy, 2003; Wolf,
effects of the web. Several of the negative factors increase Hsu, & Kang, 2004). These studies explore the effect of e-commerce
competition and diminish customer loyalty (O'Connor & Frew, technologies on behavioral attributes, such as trust and purchase
2004). These factors have contributed to e-tourism's growth. For intentions. Some studies have also explored the user's acceptance
example, eMarketer (2012) found that 51.6 percent of consumers of e-commerce technologies in the tourism sector (Kim, Lee, & Law,
who had gone or planned to travel in the summer of 2014 used the 2008; Usoro, Shoyelu, & Kuofie, 2010).
In tourism research literature, there is the need for more in-
vestigations on the impact of website information and design on
* Tel.: þ1 617 373 5521. perceived service quality and purchase intent. In some instances
E-mail address:
0261-5177/© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
542 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

where website quality has been investigated, website information difference between the two constructs could be described as
was treated as a sub-construct of website quality (Loiacono, follows. The informativeness construct is a broad concept that
Watson, & Goodhue, 2007; Wells, Valacich, & Hess, 2011). In the depicts the types of information enabling one to resolve different
literature, the composite constructs of website quality generally kinds of both new and common situations. In contrast,
aggregate assessments of the website's product information and its information-task fit depicts information that is intended to enable
non-product-related website attributes, such as, ease of use, visitors to reduce specific, but common, task-oriented informa-
entertainment, visual appeal, responsiveness and internet speed, tion deficits or to resolve task-oriented inquiries. For example, a
web security and so on, under the construct (Kim & Niehm, 2009). website will have a good information-task fit if it provides po-
This framing has limited the study of the relationship between tential travelers with information about the name, address and
website design, website's content and behavioral constructs, such location of the hotel to be used for group tours, in addition to the
as purchase intent. The exploration of this relationship is the focus attributes of hotel rooms. However, a website would be said to
of this paper. have good informativeness if it provided information to potential
There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that web design customers about why the hotel was chosen, how many hotels
should be studied more closely. For example, a survey showed that were in the area, and how the selected hotel competed on met-
two-thirds of e-shoppers do not shop on a poorly-designed website rics, such as quality, price and service performance, when
and that affluent e-shoppers are even less likely to do so (Genex, compared with its peers.
2003). Similarly, extant work shows that one in five U.S.A. online This paper will use the tourism industry as its context. This is
leisure-travelers encountered problems when booking online because of the growing impact of web technologies in this sector.
travel (Harteveldt, Johnson, & Tesch, 2007). Similarly, a research The increased deployment of e-commerce for travel products has
report estimated that 83 million online leisure travelers did not find broadened the scope of transactions and activities that travelers
the Web easy to use for planning and buying their trips (Harteveldt perform online. Jang (2004) observed that online information
et al., 2007). In addition, Lake (2013) identified 23 design problems search has become a major trend among travelers. Law and Hsu
that are still common on travel websites. (2006) postulated that the use of online reservations for travel
It is to be noted that website design is one of the aspects of an e- products and services had become an important trend. Similarly,
commerce platform over which the tour organizer has the most Corigliano and Baggio (2006) argued that the quality and perfor-
influence. Furthermore, given that shoppers spent 4.58 min on mance commercial websites will increasingly need to be monitored
average on travel websites in 2013 (Wolfgang Digital, 2014), the and improved (Law & Bai, 2006). The U.S.A. Department of Com-
possible impact of website design on potential customers should merce data showed that 25.4 million passengers took leisure/hol-
not be underestimated. Hence, it is plausible that, for a segment of iday (including holiday and visit with friends and relatives) travel in
online customers, the opinions they form about a website's design 2014. Thirty-one percent of them used Internet booking and 34
may impact their perceptions of product quality. World Best percent of them got their information from an online travel agency
Enterprises (2004) argued that website design and contents are source (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2015). This data confirms
two of the most essential factors contributing to the success of that websites are still a critical competitive resource for tourism
business websites. firms.
Given this evidence, this paper argues that the impact of There are two broad types of travel products to be differentiated,
website design is worth studying in its own right. In the literature, organized group tours and individual tours. Organized group tours
the term usability has been defined as the usefulness of the occur when a travel organization puts together an all-inclusive trip
website design or the degree of ease with which users can use a often lasting several days. The customers generally self-select
website (Nielsen, 2000). Hence, this paper defines website design themselves to join organized group tours. The websites of firms
quality as the summary evaluation of a website's interface design, that organize group tours typically provide more information than
and of the ease of use of menus, tables, navigation links and the those that solely market flights or rental cars or hotel accommo-
webpage layout. dation. Websites marketing group travel must provide potential
During each website visit, a study found that potential cus- guests with information about a broad range of services and they
tomers browsed 3.6 web pages per session to travel websites have to provide sufficient information about the tour program that
(Wolfgang Digital, 2014). Interestingly, potential shoppers seemed they are offering.
to skip over some website information and focus on information Extant research shows that less-experienced travelers strongly
that fitted their needs or was relevant to the tasks and questions prefer organized group tours and that this market is competitive.
that they faced. Hence, this study seeks to focus on the effect of a For example, a Boston Consulting Group's 2013 survey of young
known, but seldom investigated, construct called information- affluent consumers revealed that while 55 percent of the re-
task fit on perceived service/product quality and purchase spondents reported that their most recent trip was an organized
intent. The premise behind this study of information-task fit is group tour, about 65 percent said that they intend to travel inde-
that a website might have lots of information (informativeness) pendently or with friends within the next five to ten years (Budde
without having the information that the user is seeking for his/ et al., 2013). Given the fact that the group travel websites seek to
her specific task (that is, lack of information-task fit). In the retain customers, even those who are independent travelers, any-
literature, information task-fit, sometimes called informational thing that makes their websites more effective will enable such
fit-to-task, has been defined as the extent to which users perceive travel websites operators to be more successful in attracting and
that the information provided on a website meets the needs of retaining customers. Furthermore, given that information-task fit is
their tasks (Loiacono et al., 2007; Todd & Benbasat, 1992). This one of the constructs that this study is exploring, the websites of
paper defines information-task fit as the level of a consumer's group tours operators would offer a richer context for this study of
summary evaluation of the extent to which a website's product travel websites.
information is sufficient for making judgments about the quality This study will provide a better understanding of the role that
of the product. This definition is related to the website informa- website design and information-task fit has on the perception of
tiveness construct, which is defined as the degree to which buyers product quality and purchase intent. The findings will help man-
perceive that a website provides them with resourceful and agers to develop more effective strategies when they improve or
helpful information (Pavlou, Liang, & Xue, 2007). The slight rebuild their websites.
A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 543

2. Literature review navigation and layout and graphics (website design elements).
Such a conflation makes it difficult to isolate the influence of
In the literature, several studies have focused on the impacts of websites from that of website design. A similar issue is also evident
website usefulness on purchase intent and trust. San Martin and in the definition of website design quality. Often, the definition of
Herrero (2012) showed that perceived website usefulness (perfor- website quality is not uniformly differentiated from the definition
mance expectancy) impacted purchase intentions. Other studies of website design quality. For example, while Wen (2009) defined
have explored the relationship between trust and the measures of website design quality to include, system quality, information
reputation, including trust seals and marks (Kim & Niehm, 2009; quality and service quality, Lowry, Vance, Moody, Beckman, and
Vijayasarathy & Jones, 2000). Trust was shown to impact the for- Read (2008) defined website quality in terms of the website a
mation of long-term relationships and the formation of intent to user's general perception of navigability, aesthetics, and function-
purchase (Everard & Galletta, 2005; Kim & Niehm, 2009; ality of the Web site.
Vijayasarathy & Jones, 2000). Kim & Niehm (2009) explored the To avoid this problem, it is important to state how this paper will
relationships between information quality, the system quality, and differentiate between website quality and website design quality.
trust. Website quality covers three dimensions. First, it includes a web-
Duarte and Amaro (2015) found that intentions to purchase site's technical (system) qualities, such as response time, reliability,
group travel products online are determined by the customer's availability and so on (DeLone & McLean, 2003). Second, this study
attitude, compatibility and perceived risk. Hence, website infor- includes, under the website design, quality construct attributes,
mation could be viewed as the means to reduce the customer's such as its navigability, interface design, graphics and user inter-
perceived risk. Kuo, Zhang, and Cranage (2015) found that the face. In a sense, our definition splits into two areas the conceptu-
presentation of visual content, such as images and logos on a alization of website usability that was proposed by Law and Ngai
website impacted customer trust. Woodside, Vicente, and Duque (2005). It is worth mentioning that this study does not focus on
(2011) found that while destinations with small numbers of tour- the information quality of websites, but on a task-oriented infor-
ists, relative to their populations, provided more information on mation judgement. Information quality is a very broad concept
their travel websites, many destinations, with a larger number of including multiple dimensions, such as representation quality,
tourists relative to their populations, provide lesser information on contextual, accessibility, transactional and ergonomic dimensions
their websites. This suggests that the destinations with a smaller (Dedeke, 2000) or intrinsic, representational, accessibility,
number of tourists recognize the role that information plays in contextual (Strong, Lee, & Wang, 1997). Information-task fit
attracting tourists, while destinations with larger tourists depend construct, focuses on the contextual dimension of information
on their established reputations as tourist destinations. Herrero, quality.
Martín, and Herna ndez (2015) showed that information content, This rest of the paper is structured as follows. The next section
generated by users, could influence other users' behavior if the will present the research model and the hypotheses for the study.
information was valuable and if its source was credible, among The paper will then present the methodology that was used,
other things. Sparks, Perkins, and Ralf Buckley (2013) found that including a description of the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform,
reviews on online travel sites impacted customer's purchase intent. the benefits and risks of the platform, the participants of the study,
Finally, Jeong, Oh, and Gregoire (2003) found that, for lodging in- design of the experiment, deployment of the experiment, the
dustry websites, information satisfaction is a powerful determinant measures, the four website interface designs used for the experi-
for online behavioral intentions and that Web site quality is an ments and the manipulation checks. The paper will then present
important antecedent of information satisfaction. Kucukusta, Law, the results of the hypotheses testing, discussion of the results and
Besbes, and Legohe rel (2015) found that the usefulness of infor- the implications and present the limitations and future research.
mation on a tourism website was deemed by users to be more
important than its ease of use.
4. The research model
Despite their broad scope of studies, fewer studies in the
tourism literature have explored the role that website design spe-
4.1. Website design quality and purchase intent
cifically plays on purchase intent and information-task fit. For
example, Pallud and Straub (2014) found that website design
Fig. 1 presents the relationships that are explored in this study.
affected peoples' intentions to visit a museum. Also, Law and Bai
The definition of website design used in this work combines the
(2008) found that the website design preferences of online
navigational design and visual design definitions that were used by
browsers and of those who purchased online differed.
Cyr (2008). Website design is the navigational scheme and hierar-
chy used on a website together with its visual design, such as its
3. Defining the website design quality and information-task
visual appeal, innovativeness, aesthetics and use of colors and

Studies relating to website quality and its impacts date back to H1

the late 1990s. However, in the literature the scope of website
quality construct has not been uniform. The definition of the
construct in the literature has ranged from narrow to very broad. H2 H3
Web site Perceived Purchase
Some definitions of website quality often include the information design Product quality intenƟons
aspect, such as content richness (Palmer, 2002) or content suffi- quality

ciency (Chung & Law, 2003) and the ease of use or usability H5
(Huizingh, 2000; Palmer, 2002). Hence, in tourism literature, as in H4
other literature, one sometimes notices a blurring in the definition Perceived
of these terms. For example, the constructs for usability by Au InformaƟon-task H6
Yeung and Law (2006) and the construct proposed by Law and fit

Ngai (2005) for travel and hotel websites combined language, in-
formation architecture (content dimension) with user interface and Fig. 1. Proposed research model.
544 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

shapes. As discussed earlier under Section 3, website quality, 4.3. Product quality and purchase intentions
website design and website information are viewed as distinct
areas. Therefore, when this paper discusses website design quality, In extant literature, both theoretical and empirical evidence
the terminology is used to capture the buyer's summary impres- shows that perceived product-quality influences purchase in-
sions about website design and website features, including the tentions (Boulding & Kirmani, 1993; Rao, Qu, & Ruekert, 1999; Wells
menus, logos, navigation links, colors and the webpage layout. et al., 2011). When a potential customer views a product online,
Palmer (2002) found that site organization, information content especially a product with which she/he is not familiar, the customer
and navigation are important for a website's success. Furthermore, has to make a judgement about the quality of the service. This
website design has been found to positively impact perceived ac- impression is what this paper defines as perceived product quality.
cess to information, navigation experience and general perception Perceived product quality is defined as the impression of the po-
of a website (Balasubramanian, Konana, & Menon, 2003). Cyr tential customer about the level of quality that a product/service
(2008) also found that visual design and information design would offer, if purchased. This construct is quite relevant in the
impacted customer satisfaction. tourism sphere, specifically because a significant number of po-
In the context of travel research studies, intent to purchase has tential travelers are making a decision to buy vacations to destina-
been argued as the best predictor of action (Moital, Vaughn, & tions with which they are not familiar. Fassnacht and Koese (2006)
Edwards, 2009). Hence, it is important to understand the factors argued that, in the e-commerce context, perceived product quality
that impact this variable. Extant works indicate that web design is the determinant of online competitive advantage. Furthermore, Yi
could strengthen customer trust (Lowry et al., 2008), improve and Gong (2008) found a relationship between product quality and
customer satisfaction (Law & Bai, 2008) and impact the formation a traveler's purchase intentions. In addition, Mills and Morrison
of willingness or intent to purchase (Schmidt, Cantallops, & Santos, (2003) found that perceived quality of the product offered by an
2007). Similarly, Pallud and Straub (2014) found that the quality of online travel website impacts the online experience, which in turn
the design of a museum's website influenced the customer's impacts customer satisfaction. Similarly, Zhou, Lu, and Wang (2009)
intention to visit the physical museum. Kuan, Bock, and found that product quality determined repurchase intentions. Given
Vathanophas (2008) also found that website design impacted these results, it is expected that this work will confirm extant
purchase intentions. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed: findings. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed:
H1. The perceived website design quality will positively affect the H3. The perceived product quality will positively impact the
purchase intent. intent to purchase.

4.4. Information-task fit
4.2. Website design quality and product quality
Product information includes the amount, type and form of in-
Extant literature shows that website quality is related to
formation about the products and services offered on a web site.
perceived product quality. For example, Wells et al. (2011) found
When the information on a website satisfies all the needs of the
that website quality influenced perceived product quality. This
potential customer, the website is said to have a high information-
paper argues that the same argument could be made for website
task fit; otherwise, it is said to have a low information-task fit. This
design quality. Namely, that website design quality impacts
information-task fit construct is related to the concept of website
perceived product quality. I expect that website design quality
informativeness (Pavlou et al., 2007), which is the measure of the
could impact perceived product quality on two grounds. For
degree to which buyers perceive that a website offers them
example, in the case of inexperienced customer, who has never
resourceful and helpful textual information. It is also similar to the
done business with an online travel organizer, one would expect
concept of information fitness for a task (Loiacono, Watson, &
the website design quality, being more readily accessible infor-
Hoodhue, 2002), which is a measure of the degree to which the
mation, to be used by customers as a surrogate for the product
information provided meets the task needs of a customer.
quality of the organized travel product. When customers lack
Information-task fit is different from product diagnostics (Dimoka,
experience with a provider, they would default to using the avail-
Hong, & Pavlou, 2012; Gregg & Walczak, 2008), because it is not
able information to form predictions about product quality
focused primarily on the product; rather, it accommodates a
(Zeithaml (1988).
broader range of information that might be required for a task,
Furthermore, this paper's argument rests on the confidence-
including the seller-related content.
value premise. According to the confidence-value logic, potential
buyers are highly confident in their own ability to evaluate clearly
4.5. Website design quality and information-task fit
observable attributes rather than the unobservable ones. Hence,
potential buyers are likely to infer their product quality perceptions
There are at least two ways in which website design quality could
from their perceptions of website design attributes (Richardson,
impact the perception of information-task fit. First, the website
Dick, & Jain, 1994), because they are confident about their ability
design of the navigational scheme could help or hinder the access to
to evaluate website designs quality. For example, Lindgaard,
different sections of a website (DeWulf, Schillewaert, Muylle, &
Fernandes, Dudek, and Brownet (2006) demonstrated that the vi-
Rangarajan, 2006). Similarly, the website design could make it
sual appeal of a website is often assessed in less than one second.
easier for the organized tour vendor to include more content on a
Such a finding supports the idea that consumers exhibit high levels
website in addition to a broad variety of information formats. A prior
of confidence in assessing website design quality and would be
study showed that the dimensions of website design attributes,
more likely to substitute these judgments for product quality as-
including interactivity and ease of use, significantly influence the
sessments. Consequently, I expect that the perceptions of website
perceived information quality (Kim & Niehm, 2009). Furthermore,
design quality would affect a consumer's perception of product
the way that information is listed (Gregg & Walczak, 2008) and
quality. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed:
presented is also expected to make it easier to select and locate
H2. The perceived website design quality will positively affect the information, consequently enhancing the perception of the
perceived product quality. information-task fit. Hence, the following hypothesis is proposed:
A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 545

H4. The perceived website design quality will positively affect the (requesters) to post their jobs online for workers (turk workers) to
perceived information-task fit. perform for a fee. For this study, the following performance metrics
were set as the minimum eligibility. The worker had to be in the
USA and had to have successfully completed at least 500 turk
4.6. Information-task fit and product quality projects. The worker should also have a lifetime task-acceptance
rating of 95 percent or higher. The fee that was paid to the partic-
Gregg and Walczak (2008) showed that product information ipants in the study was set at $1.40 and the task completion time
and background information, referred to as a part of the e-image, was set to one hour. The fee was set at $1.40, because a review of
do impact a customer's willingness to transact business on a web postings made by U.S.A.-based turk workers and Internet-
website. Another study has shown that long textual descriptions based chats with a few of them, revealed that U.S.A. turk workers
increase the buyer's utility for products (Kauffman & Wood, 2006). had a reservation wage of $1.38, about a $4.80 hourly wage. Below
Multimedia formats have been shown to impact how a website is this amount, most of them would not accept a task.
experienced (Hulten, Broweus, & Van Dijk, 2009). Similarly, extant
work has shown that a low information-task fit impacts buyer 5.2. Use of web platforms for research experiments and studies:
behaviors. In summary, the kind of information that is provided on benefits and risks
a website and the richness of the information impacts how people
experience the website. Vargo and Lusch (2004) argued that the Researchers are increasingly-using Internet technologies,
triggering of a potential buyer's sensory experience enables the including Amazon Turk, for academic research (Mason & Suri,
individual to develop behavioral, emotional, cognitive, relational 2012). The Amazon Turk platform has been successfully been
and symbolic values towards the products or services offered. In- used to conduct researchers studies in different fields, including
formation that is provided on websites is used to influence the economics (Hossain & Morgan, 2006), sociology (Centola, 2010)
consumer's perceptions of value (Lohse & Spiller, 1998). Hence, the and psychology (Birnbaum, 2000; Nosek, 2007). Also, some studies
stated hypothesis is the following: have showed that Internet studies had comparable results to those
H5. The perceived information-task fit will positively affect the conducted under laboratory conditions (Birnbaum, 2000; Horton,
perceived product quality. Rand, & Zeckhauser, 2011) and to those conducted under class-
room conditions (Sparks et al., 2013).
There are a few advantages in using Amazon Turk for experi-
4.7. Information-task fit and purchase intent mental research. The first is that a large number of potential par-
ticipants would see the experiment. In 2007, it was reported that
Intuition suggests that website information must fit the ex- there were 100,000 Amazon Turk workers in 100 countries (Pontin,
pectations of potential customers if they are to form the intention 2007). Second, the completion time for each run of an online
to purchase. Specifically, in the tourism context, if a travel website experiment is a fraction of the time needed to complete a labora-
lacks specific information that a potential customer seeks, she or he tory experiment. As with any online project, one has to take certain
will likely not form the intention to purchase that travel product. precautions to protect the integrity of the data. For this project, I
Jeong et al. (2003) found that online information impacted cus- took specific steps to eliminate multiple submissions by any indi-
tomers' behavioral intentions. Some studies report a positive as- vidual. I also took steps to eliminate the likelihood that the survey
sociation between product information and the attitude toward a form would be filled by software programs called “bots”. Lastly, to
web site (Kwon, Kim, & Lee, 2002). Product information also in- mitigate responder bias, the survey information encouraged the
fluences the attitude of customers towards online shopping (Wang, participant to give honest answers and the payment was not based
Beatty, & Foxx, 2004), and the amount of online shopping that they on how a participant rated the sites.
do (Kwak, Fox, & Zinkhan, 2002). Chiu, Hsieh, and Kao (2005) and
Liang and Chen (2009) found that information quality impacted 5.3. Participants
customers' behavioral intentions.
Wen (2009) argues that both the quality and quantity of infor- The online experiments for this study were carried out on the
mation provided matters. For example, while the provision of suf- Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. This platform will be described
ficient product information might help a user to form impressions in the next section. The population of this study consisted of those
about product quality, the provision of user experience information, eligible workers who voluntarily made the decision to be part of the
such as reviewer reviews, would likely help some users to overcome study. In all, 415 submissions were received. After the submissions
their uncertainties of lingering product risks. The work of Amaro and were reviewed, only 340 (82 percent) of submissions were usable
Duarte (2015) confirmed that perceived product risk is positively for the study. Thirty-seven submissions were rejected, because they
related to the intentions to purchase travel products online. There is made one or more of the following errors: wrong or missing survey
evidence in the literature that the provision of review and recom- codes, omission of survey questions, and/or inclusion of mostly the
mendation information, related to product experiences, impacted same responses for all survey questions. Thirty-eight survey sub-
customer perceptions of the websites (Kumar & Benbasat, 2006). missions were not used, because the time-stamp on the work
Thus, the following hypothesis is proposed: revealed that the respondent spent less than 300 s on the task,
H6. The perceived information-task fit will positively affect a suggesting that the responses were rushed. The usable sample
consumer's intention to purchase a product. consisted of 58% males and 42% females. Of the respondents, 85
percent were between the ages of 18e45 years. The annual
household income of 75 percent of the respondents was between
5. Method $12,500 and $74,999. Based on the U.S. Department of Commerce
(2015) statistics, the demographics of leisure/vacation travelers in
5.1. The experimental system: Amazon Mechanical Turk platform 2014 were structured as follows: average age was 44.7 years for
females and 45.3 years for males. The median annual household
The Amazon Mechanical Turk (‘aka’ Amazon Turk) platform is a income was $95,000 and the mean annual household income was
crowd-sourcing platform that permits people who have projects $119, 354. The average number of nights spent outside the country
546 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

was 10 days (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2015). Given that the and Wells et al. (2011).
sample in this study covered people with lower annual household I measured the product quality according to the measures used
incomes than the 2014 U.S. travelers, an additional analysis was by Boulding and Kirmani (1993), Rao et al. (1999) and Wells et al.
carried out with a research sub-sample that was closer to the de- (2011). The purchase intention construct was measured using
mographics of the 2014 travelers. This additional analysis was made items that assessed a person's likelihood to use a website to pur-
to ensure that the conclusions of the study were valid for a repre- chase products (Loiacono et al., 2002; Vargo & Lusch, 2004). Con-
sentative sample. The sub-sample was used for the representa- trol measures for age, gender, prior visits to France and income
tiveness analysis where annual household incomes were higher were also included in the survey.
than $84, 375. The first set of experiments was carried out between
April and May 2013 and the second set in August 2013. 5.7. Description of the websites for the experiments

5.4. Design of the experiment 5.7.1. Designing the website interfaces 1 and 2
It is noted that the approach of using multiple website treat-
This study was designed to be a quasi-experimental study, ments for research is not new. Well et al. (2011) used this approach
rather than a fully-controlled laboratory study. The method was not and Lowry et al. (2008) used website manipulations in studying the
designed to use an “ideal” website as a control condition; rather, impact of websites logos branding perceptions. For this exploratory
the experiment was designed to deploy several different website study, four website interfaces were developed. They were designed
designs and to compare user evaluations across the websites. That to be meaningfully different from each other. The contents of the
being said, the study adopted key practices that are typical of websites were borrowed from the websites of companies that
experimental studies. First, the assignment of participants to the offered organized trips to France. The Website Design 1 had six web
each of the website interfaces was made randomly. Second, the pages, namely, welcome, vacation schedule, hotels information,
study participants had to interact with the pages of the website and customer video, tour guide video and the firm's contact informa-
perform simple activities before they could fill in the survey tion (see screenshots of website Design 1 and 4 in the appendix. See
questionnaire. Third, manipulation checks were carried out to Website Design 1 here:
ensure that the interface treatments were effective. Given the rhdh6QQ.html; see Website Design 2 here: http://circle.
exploratory nature of the study, an incomplete factorial design was
adopted. However, it should be noted that the use of a factorial I operationalized innovation in the design by using interactive
design was not required for all experiments. As shown in Collins, web tables to present information and the use of Cascading Style
Dziak, and Li (2009), many experimental designs that are in com- Sheets (CSS3) for styling the pages. The responsive table enabled
mon use in intervention science are incomplete factorials. Thus, the the user to reduce the content of information viewed on the page.
design of our experiment is more closely aligned to a comparative The table would also automatically reorganize its contents to adapt
treatment design (Behar & Borkovec, 2003). to the device screen size of the user. I operationalized website
design (appeal and design) in the following ways. A CSS 3 coding
5.5. Procedure: deploying experiments on Amazon Turk was used to develop the appealing navigation tabs and the logo for
the website. Matching colors were selected for the website. Pictures
The deployment of online experiments on Amazon Turk were also included to enhance the visual appeal of the pages.
occurred in several steps. First, a requester account was created for The Information task-fit was operationalized by the inclusion of
the project on the Amazon Turk. Second, the survey questions for information about the vacation. The information for Website
the research were created using the HTML and CSS capabilities of Design 1 included a two-minute welcome page video. The
the Amazon Turk's platform. Third, JavaScript programming was customer page had a two-minute video testimony about a family
used to create a code that would randomly assign one of the that had been on the France vacation. The tour guides page
websites to each worker participating in the study. Fourth, the in- included a two-minute video featuring one of the tour guides for
structions for the experiment were created and posted on Amazon the French vacation. The vacation schedule page contained detailed
Turk's portal. Fifth, all the components of the experiment, including descriptions about the daily itinerary of the vacation. The schedule
the instructions page, websites, Java script and survey, were all page also had several hyperlinks to videos and interactive activities
linked together in the sequence that each participant would see related to activities associated with the 13-day France vacation. The
and process them. According to the sequence, each respondent had hotel information page presented two actual hotels, a photo gallery
to read the task instructions and accept the task, at which time she/ of the hotels and in-depth details of the guest rooms, amenities and
he was randomly assigned one of the websites. She/he had to the respective hotel locations. The four star-ratings of the hotels
complete few browsing activities that would expose them to the were also included.
pages of the website. Then, the participant had to fill the exit sur- Towards the bottom of the webpage for hotel information, all
vey. A trial run was made to check that all the parts were working the names, star ratings and cities of the other hotels available
well. Then, the real experiment was run. during the vacation were included. In addition, hyperlinks to each
hotel's website were provided describing the amenities, guest
5.6. Measures rooms and other features. I extracted 41 customer feedbacks and
ratings from the website of an organizer of group tours to France.
The constructs for the study were adapted from existing vali- The information was posted on the customer webpage of the
dated scales whenever possible and were provided together with Website Design 1. In addition, an appealing picture of a young child
the scale anchors and sources in Fig. 2. Three constructs of the on holiday and appealing marketing messages were added on top
study, namely, website design, innovation and information-task fit, of the video on the tour guides page. Lastly, the contact webpage of
were adopted from the work of Loiacono et al. (2002, 2007). Website Design 1 provided detailed information about the location,
Website design (visual appeal and design) and innovation were operating hours, telephone numbers, fax numbers and several
measured using three manifest variables, respectively. Overall email addresses for contacts in the vacation organizer. Website 2
website design quality was measured using two reflective items. was created by the removal of some of the features of Website
These were adapted from the works of Everard and Galletta (2005) design 1 (See Table 1).
A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 547

Design and Visual Appeal (VISUAL) Loiacono et al. (2007) [7 Strongly agree, to 1 strongly
The Website is visually pleasing.
The Website displays visually pleasing design.
The Website is visually appealing.

InnovaƟveness (INNOV) Loiacono et al. (2007) [7 Strongly agree, to 1 strongly disagree]

The Website is innova ve.
The Website design is innova ve.
The Website is crea ve.

InformaƟonal-Task Fit (FIT) Loiacono et al. (2007) [7 Strongly agree, to 1 strongly disagree]
The informa on on the Website is pre y much what I need to carry out my tasks.
The Website adequately meets my informa on needs.
The informa on on the Website is effec ve.

Product Quality (adapted from Boulding and Kirmani, 1993; Rao et al., 1999; Wells et al., 2011)
The vaca on appears to me to be well cra ed. [7 Strongly agree to 1 strongly disagree]
I perceive the vaca on offered at the website to be of high quality. [7 Strongly agree to 1
strongly disagree]
I perceive that the experience offered by the vaca on would be durable. [7 Strongly agree to 1
strongly disagree] (new)

Purchase IntenƟon (adapted from Loiacono et al., 2011; Van der Heijden & Verhagen, 2004;
Wells et al., 2011) [7 Strongly agree to 1 strongly disagree]
If you were in the market for a vaca on to France, how likely are you to purchase the vaca on
offered on this website?
If you were in the market for a vaca on in the future, how likely are you to purchase similar
vaca ons offered by this firm?
If your friends were in the market for a France vaca on, how likely are you to recommend this
site to them?

Website Design Quality (Everard & Galle a, 2005) [7 Strongly agree, to 1 strongly disagree]
Overall how would you rate the quality of the site?
I would rate the website as being of high quality?

Fig. 2. Measures of the study.

5.7.2. Designing the website interfaces 3 and 4 Rather, it had a reduced scope of travel information for the 13-day
Website Design 3 had six web pages, namely, welcome, vacation vacation and the information was provided in plain text. The hotel
schedule, hotels information, customer video, tour guide video and page was the same as that of Website Design 1. However, only the
contact information. To make the design less visually-appealing, its names and the locations of two out of the seven hotels for the
logo was in plain text. However, the page still had visually- vacation were included on the page. There were no hyperlinks to
appealing navigation tabs. It also had small pictures of a tree. On any of the websites of the hotels associated with the organized tour.
the welcome page, the welcome video was replaced with the On the customer page, the video was replaced with the transcribed
transcribed text of the video's audio message. A small picture of a text of the video's audio. Similarly, on the tour guides page, the
tree was also added to the page. The length of the text descriptions video content was replaced with the transcribed text of the video's
relating to the vacation schedule was reduced. The schedule page of audio message. Lastly, the contact page provided much-reduced
Website Design 3 also had no hyperlinks to videos and places to be information. It only provided information about the location,
visited. The schedule page also did not include a responsive table. operating hours and two phone numbers for the organizer of the

Table 1
Summary of the experimental treatments.

Website design 1 Website design 2 Website design 3 Website design 4

- Responsive HTML table Yes Yes No No
Website design (appeal and design)
- CSS logo and navigation tabs Yes Yes No No
- Pictures Yes No Yes Yes
Information-task fit
- Vacation schedule High High Medium Low
- Hotels details High High Medium Low
- Firm's contact information High High Medium Low
- Online ads showing a customer and a tour guide (video) Yes Yes No No
- Customer feedback and ratings of prior vacation activities (text) Yes No No No
548 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

travel product. The Website Design 4 was created by the removal of in (3 and 4), the mean differences for the two websites were 2.85
some of the features of Website Design 3 (See Table 1). The inclu- for the presence of a detailed customer feedback; 2.63 for suffi-
sion of four different website designs would enable this study to ciency of the contents in the schedule; 2.63 for sufficiency of hotel
explore whether the hypotheses being studied were consistent information and 2.04 for appeal of pictures on the website. The
across different website designs, (see screenshots of Website 4 in differences for customer feedback, hotel information and picture
the appendix. See Website Design 3 here: http://oval. were significant (p < 0.01) using both a t-test for equality of means; see Website Design 4 here: and Levene's test for equality of variances. The differences in the visual appeal of the logo and navigation bar and in the innova-
tiveness of the website were significant (p < 0.05). The difference in
5.8. Constructing the website interfaces the means of the schedule information was not significant. Overall,
the results of the manipulation test showed that the treatments
The focus of the website interfaces development was to create were effective.
meaningfully different versions, to have variety, and not create
exemplars for a factorial study. Textual information is the funda- 6. Results
mental method of presenting online information. When text is used
online, one could differentiate between websites that have more or 6.1. Structural model
less information. Hence, in constructing website interfaces that
vary in website information, the study varied the textual elements SmartPLS (Ringle, Wende, & Becker, 2015) software was used to
for the vacation schedule, details of hotels, vendor's contact infor- conduct the Partial Least Squares (PLS) structural model (PLS-SEM)
mation and the customer feedback about a vacation product. Thus, analyses for this study. PLS structural modeling is suitable for an
for interfaces 1 to 4, the content varied from high to low exploratory study, such as this study, because the approach is
information. capable of uncovering predictive causal relationships between
The literature also indicates that the leanness of text and static variables. The PLS eSEM method is also suitable for our research,
images limit it from conveying rich information, such as the dy- because it enables us to assess the convergence of the variables in
namic characteristics of products (Jiang & Benbasat, 2007). The the model. The PLS-SEM method is also capable of handling com-
literature proposes that multimedia features should be used to plex models without placing too many restrictions on the distri-
enrich online content (Raney, Arpan, Pashupati, & Brill, 2003). butional structure of the data (Ringle et al., 2015).
Online ads and video clips were used to vary the interactive content The following settings were used for the PLS analyses. The path-
across the four interfaces. Empirical studies have concluded that weighting scheme for the inner weights estimation and the data
different presentation formats impact consumers' product under- was standardized (Mean ¼ 0; Variance ¼ 1). The maximum itera-
standing, attitudes toward products (Jiang & Benbasat, 2005; Li, tion for stopping the algorithm was set to 300. The initial weight
Daugherty, & Biocca, 2003; Raney et al., 2003). was set to 1 as suggested by Hair, Ringle, and Sarstedt (2011). The
Several studies found that in some visual designs (Kim, Lee, & path model diagram for the structural model is shown in Fig. 3. An
Choi, 2003; Scheirer & Picard, 1999), visually appealing content essential criterion for understanding the structural model is the
provoked emotional feelings. The four interfaces were developed to coefficient of determination (R2) of the endogenous latent vari-
have varied aesthetic attributes by the design of the logos, navi- ables. R2 values of 0.19, 0.33 and 0.67 are described as weak,
gation elements and pictures (Perdue, 2001). Innovation was varied moderate and substantial respectively in academic literature (Chin,
by the use of web development technology that enhanced the 1998).
manipulation of a web page table with its content on a page,
enabling easier navigation (Tan, Xie, & Li, 2003). 6.2. Assessing collinearity

5.9. Manipulation check I investigated possible collinearity between each set of predictor
variables. A collinearity problem exists if the VIF is above 5 (Hair,
A manipulation check of the effectiveness of the treatments was Hult, Ringle, & Sarstedt, 2014). Based on Table 2 below, collin-
conducted, and its results showed that the treatments were effec- earity was not an issue.
tive. I used a different population for the manipulation check than
was used for the main study. Furthermore, a manipulation test was 6.3. Assessing significance of path coefficients
conducted for each of the four treatments of the study. A survey
was created that included the following items, (1) the website The bootstrapping analysis was used to estimate the statistical
provides sufficient details about the schedule of the trip, (2) The significance of the path coefficients in our structural model. Using
website includes detailed feedback from prior customers, (3) The the SmartPLS 3 software (Ringle et al., 2015), the bootstrapping
website includes several videos on the Schedule and Our Tour analysis drew 5000 sub-samples from the 340 cases used in the
Guide tabs, (4) the table on the Schedule tab has an innovative study. The stop criterion of 7 was used. The analysis was run with
design, (5) the website provides sufficient information about the the no-sign-change option as recommended by Hair et al. (2011).
hotels used for the trip, (6) the Our Tour Guide tab has a visually The t-statistics in Table 3 indicated that all the path coefficients of
appealing picture, (7) the logo and the navigation tabs are visually- the model, except one, namely the relationship between
appealing. The responses were measured using a 7-point Likert information-task fit and purchase intent, were statistically signifi-
scale with 1 ¼ strongly disagree and 7 ¼ strongly agree. Fifty per- cant. All the t-statistics were above the critical t-value of 2.57,
sons compared the two treatments (1 and 2) that were used for implying that the relationships were highly significant at the level
Study 1 and a different set of fifty people compared the treatments of one percent (p < 0.01; two-sided test).
that were used in Study 2. For Study 1, the mean differences for the The analysis of the significance of the outer models was also
two interfaces were 2.7 for the presence of customer feedback and carried out. The results showed that all the paths in the outer model
2.44 for the presence of an appealing picture. The difference was were significant (the data table for this result was not included).
significant (p < 0.01) using both a t-test for equality of means and Therefore, both the results of the inner and outer models confirmed
Levene's test for equality of variances. For the other two treatments that the path coefficients were strongly significant.
A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 549

Fig. 3. Structural regression model results (N ¼ 340).

Table 2 6.4. Assessing the coefficient of determination, effect size, and

Collinearity statistics (variance inflation factors (VIF)). predictive relevance
InfoTastFit PurchIntent ServQual WebDQual

InfoTaskFit 2.1 1.57

Fig. 3 shows that the coefficient of determination for purchase
Innov 1.84 intent, website design quality, product quality and information-
PurchIntent task fit were 63.8, 65.3, 54.9 and 36.3 percent, respectively. Hair
ServQual 2.2 et al. (2011) suggest that R2 values of 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 for
VisualApp 1.84
endogenous latent variables be described as weak, moderate and
WebDQual 1 1.7 1.57
substantial, respectively. Hence, the first three R2 values were
substantial and the one for information-task fit was moderate. This
suggests that the model has a high level of predictive accuracy for
The path model coefficients showed that website design quality
the latent variables.
had a strong effect on both information-task fit (0.60) (see H4) and
The effect size f2 was used to assess the contributions of the
purchase intent (0.43) (see H1). The information-task fit had a
exogenous constructs to the latent variable's respective R2 values.
stronger effect on product quality (0.51) (see H3) than did the
Cohen (1988) recommends that f2 values of 0.02, 0.15 and 0.35 be
website design quality (0.31) (see H2). Product quality had a
considered small, medium and large effects, respectively. The re-
stronger impact on purchase intent (0.34) (see H3) than did
sults showed that the relationship between Information task-fit
information-task fit (0.13) (see H6). In sum, website design quality,
and purchase intent had a small effect (0.02). The relationships
information-task fit and product quality explained 63.8 percent, a
relationship between product quality and purchase intent and be-
substantial proportion, of the variance in the purchase intent var-
tween website design quality and product quality and between
iable. In summary, hypotheses 1 to 5 of the study were confirmed
website design quality and purchase were medium (0.13e0.29) and
by these results. The path coefficient between information-task fit
those of the two other relationships (Visual appeal / web design
and purchase intent was not significant. Hence, hypothesis H6 was
quality and web design quality / information-task fit) had large
not supported by the results. The confidence intervals confirm the
effects sizes (higher than 0.37).
significance of the supported relationships. Table 3 shows that only
Furthermore, the study explored the predictive relevance (Q2) of
in the case of hypothesis 6 did the zero fell between the lower and
the latent constructs of our model, as recommended by Chin (1998)
upper confidence interval.
and Hair et al. (2011). The SmartPLS 3's blindfolding process was
used for this analysis. An omission distance of 7 was used. A model

Table 3
Bootstrapping analysis and hypotheses testing.

Path coefficient 99% confidence interval T statistics Hypothesis Supported

WebDQual / PurchIntent 0.43*** [0.30, 0.55] 9.39 H1 Yes

WebDQual / ProdQual 0.31*** [0.18, 0.43] 6.26 H2 Yes
ProdQual / PurchIntent 0.34*** [0.2, 0.46] 7.06 H3 Yes
WebDQual / InfoTaskFit 0.60*** [0.51, 0.68] 19.8 H4 Yes
InfoTaskFit / ProdQual 0.51*** [0.37, 0.64] 9.29 H5 Yes
InfoTaskFit / PurchIntent 0.13 [0.005, 0.26] 2.49 H6 No

550 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

is said to have a predictive relevance if the communality (Q2) is Larcker (1981) and Hair et al. (2014). The data in Table 6 was
greater than zero (Hair et al., 2011). The cross-validated redun- used to assess the discriminant validity according to the Fornell-
dancy, the Cv-redundancy (Q2), is a communality measure whereby Larker (1981) criterion. The values on the diagonal of Table 5 are
the endogenous manifest variables are predicted indirectly from the square roots of the AVEs of the latent variables.
their respective latent variable using the structural relationships As shown in Table 6, the square root of each construct's AVE was
(Tenenhaus, Esposito Vinzi, Chatelin, & Lauro, 2005). For this study, higher than its correlations with the other constructs. This implies
Cv values were 0.32 for information-task fit, 0.57 for purchase that the model has discriminant validity.
intent, 0.42 for service quality and 0.63 for web design quality. Q2 The proposed model's discriminant validity was also examined
values of 0.02, 0.15 and 0.35 are deemed to be small, medium and using cross-loadings. A model is deemed to have discriminant
large predictive relevance respectively. Hence, the Q2 values show validity if the correlations between each construct and its respec-
that the model has strong predictive relevance. tive indicators are higher than all other cross-loadings (Hair et al.,
2014). Table 7 shows that the discriminant validity of the model
6.5. Analysis of representative sample: structural model for high- is established, because each indicator's loading on its construct is
income sub-sample higher than all its cross loadings with other constructs.

The analysis was run for a sub-sample that was similar to the 7. Discussion
demographical data of vacation travelers in the U.S.A. in 2014 (U.S.
Department of Commerce, 2015). The sub-sample included re- 7.1. Theoretical and practical contributions
spondents who were in the top two classes for annual household
income [$87,500e99,999] and [$100,000 or more]. The sample size The objective of this research was to understand the relation-
was 69. PLS analysis and Bootstrapping analyses were executed for ships between the key variables that impact the formation of pur-
the sample. The results of the bootstrapping analysis are shown in chase intention on travel websites. Specifically, the study explored
Table 4. The results in the table show that all the relationships of the impact of perceived website design quality, perceived product
the research model were significant. quality and perceived information-task fit on the purchase inten-
The confidence intervals in Table 4 demonstrate that all the tion. The results showed that the latent variables were positively
paths coefficients were statistically significant. Collinearity statis- related to the purchase intention. In particular, the results showed
tics were evaluated using the VIF values. The VIF values varied that website design quality significantly impacted perceived pur-
between 1 and 2.01. Given that the VIF values were below 5, chase intention, perceived product quality and perceived
collinearity was not an issue in the analysis. Hence, given that the information-task fit. The results of the study also showed that
hypotheses were also confirmed when a representative sub-sample website design quality, perceived product quality and perceived
was analyzed, it was concluded that the results are robust. information-task fit has predictive relevance for purchase intent.
The research also showed that these results were significant for all
6.6. Assessing the validity and reliability of the model the four types of websites that were included in the study, with the
exception of a single path, in Website Design 4. This implied that
I used the outer loadings (table not included) to review the the results agreed with the results of Lee and Lin (2005) who found
relationship between the reflective latent variables and their in- that website design positively influenced perceived service quality.
dicators. The loadings were all above the threshold value of 0.708 It also agreed with the finding of Ranganathan and Ganapathy
(Everard & Galletta, 2005). The lowest outer loading was 0.83. I (2002) who had empirically established that website design posi-
evaluated the reliability of the composite factors using data that are tively affected purchase intention.
presented in Table 5. The results showed that the latent variables The results extend the findings of Herrero et al. (2015) and
had high levels of internal consistency. The high internal consis- Sparks et al. (2013) by showing that different kinds of website in-
tency of the latent variables is also supported by the high values of formation, not just user-generated content, impacts behavioral
the Cronbach's alpha. They are all much higher than the 0.60 intentions. Furthermore, one can conclude that the result is
minimum threshold recommended by Nunnally (1967). coherent with the findings of Jeong et al. (2003) who found that
The convergent validity assessment was completed using the information satisfaction is a powerful determinant of online
Average Variance Extracted (AVE) values. The lowest Average behavioral intentions. If information-task fit is high, it is expected
Variance Extracted (AVE) value in Table 5 was 0.79, thus exceeding that customer information satisfaction will be high. The results of
the minimum threshold of 0.5, as recommended by Fornell and this study are somewhat different from that of Kucukusta et al.
(2015) who found that the usefulness of information on a tourism
website was deemed by users to be more important than its ease-
Table 4
PLS Structural Equation Model Results: High annual household income sample. of-use. Our findings imply that information-task fit's relationship to
product quality is stronger than the relationship between website
Dependent Var. Independent Var. N ¼ 69
design quality and product quality. Also, the results imply that
R2 (Beta, T-statistics) [99% conf. interval] website design quality almost equally strongly impacts both
PurchInt 0.55
ServQual (0.36***, 6.27) [0.21, 0.508]
WebDQ (0.497***, 9.94) [0.36, 0.63] Table 5
WebDQ 0.60 Composite indicator Attributes.
VisualApp (0.53***, 8.2) [0.36, 0.70]
AVE Composite reliability R square Cronbach's alpha
Innov (0.29***, 4.3) [0.11, 0.48]
ServQual 0.37 InfoTaskFit 0.88 0.96 0.36 0.94
WebDQ (0.26***, 4.42) [0.1, 0.42] Innov 0.84 0.94 0.00 0.90
InfTaskFit (0.425***, 5.9) [0.22, 0.59] PurchIntent 0.91 0.97 0.63 0.95
InfTaskFit 0.27 ProdQual 0.79 0.92 0.54 0.87
WebDQ (0.52***, 11.6) [0.4, 0.63] VisualApp 0.94 0.98 0.00 0.97
*** WebDQual 0.96 0.98 0.65 0.96
Significant at 0.001 level.
A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 551

Table 6
Correlations and square root of AVEs.

InfoTaskFit Innov PurchIntent ServQual VisualApp WebDQual

InfoTaskFit 0.94
Innov 0.40 0.91
PurchIntent 0.63 0.51 0.95
ServQual 0.69 0.37 0.70 0.89
VisualApp 0.52 0.67 0.62 0.53 0.97
WebDQual 0.60 0.71 0.72 0.61 0.76 0.98

Square roots of AVE are shown on the diagonal in bold font.

Table 7
Cross loadings.

InfoTaskFit Innov PurchIntent ServQual VisualApp WebDQual

INFOFIT_10 0.944 0.387 0.599 0.639 0.501 0.590

INFOFIT_11 0.954 0.353 0.570 0.621 0.467 0.538
INFOFIT_12 0.932 0.401 0.614 0.711 0.515 0.574
INNOV_4 0.354 0.921 0.454 0.341 0.577 0.610
INNOV_5 0.360 0.940 0.456 0.325 0.638 0.663
INNOV_6 0.396 0.892 0.514 0.372 0.642 0.691
PINT_17 0.588 0.479 0.957 0.683 0.567 0.653
PINT_18 0.617 0.472 0.958 0.681 0.592 0.675
PINT_19 0.603 0.534 0.950 0.650 0.630 0.744
SQUAL_13 0.689 0.403 0.629 0.905 0.518 0.599
SQUAL_14 0.649 0.362 0.705 0.928 0.519 0.612
SQUAL_15 0.513 0.224 0.529 0.839 0.358 0.415
VAPP_1 0.500 0.642 0.618 0.508 0.972 0.737
VAPP_2 0.518 0.661 0.592 0.530 0.966 0.738
VAPP_3 0.510 0.665 0.608 0.503 0.970 0.737
WQUAL_20 0.610 0.703 0.724 0.624 0.759 0.984
WDQUAL_21 0.57 0.70 0.70 0.59 0.73 0.984

Bold fonts show that all the measurement items load heavily on their respective constructs.

information-task fit and purchase intent. The findings also extend information easier should be viewed as critical. A key component of
the work, Pallud and Straub (2014), which found that website improving information-task fit is to ensure that the navigation
design affected peoples' intentions to visit a museum. This study systems enable easy access to the information provided on the
shows that website design also impacts purchase intentions. website.
The results imply a number of recommendations. First, they Finally, this study used Amazon Turk to conduct the research on
suggest that e-retailers should be careful not to underestimate the websites. This research deployment is not yet widespread in In-
impact of having a website that manifests an appealing design, formation Systems literature. The study shows that the use of
given that this attribute impacts the formation of purchase in- crowd-sourcing platforms could achieve results that are congruent
tentions. This suggests a number of practical implications for travel with those achieved when using traditional laboratory-based
companies. Namely, that it may make sense for travel companies to approaches.
permit their customers to rate the appeal of their websites before
they are launched. In many cases, this might require a modification
of the website development process, such that the voice of the
customer is brought in early in the process, when key decisions are
made in regard to the website design. 8. Limitations and future research
Second, the findings of the study also imply that e-retailers
should not overestimate the impact of a well-designed website on This study, as with all research projects, has a number of limi-
perceived product quality. As it turns out, information-task fit has a tations. Though this study used a more diverse population than
stronger influence on perceived product quality than does website studies using undergraduate/graduate students, our experiments
design quality. Pragmatically, this implies that travel websites did not have a complex design. Hence, the participants were not
should always be evaluated to ensure that all the information asked to complete complex website exercises. Furthermore, the use
different categories of customers may need are provided on the of an online population might be limited in generalizability, if the
website. A travel website with a high information-task fit would population is too different from the general U.S.A. population.
exhibit a stronger impact on the perception of product quality than Also, this research did not investigate how videos, text and au-
would a website with a low information-task fit. dios impacted the perceived different information-task fit con-
Third, the results of this paper suggest that travel website de- structs. This is left for future research. In addition, I focused on two
signs should be carefully evaluated relative to their impacts on manifest variables for website design quality. Future research could
information-task fit. A website's appeal should not merely be in its explore the influence of other variables. Future work could also
coloring, images and styling. Rather, the navigation design and all expand the number of manifest variables used in the innovation
other relevant features that make the finding and consumption of factor. Similarly, such studies could explore the role that pricing has
on the formation of purchase-intent for different service products.
552 A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554

Acknowledgments Appendix 1

The author wishes to thank the anonymous reviewers for their Study websites: treatment websites
valuable suggestions and comments. I also thank the Editor-in-
Chief, Professor Chris Ryan, for his input and support during the
review process.

Design 1 Design 4

Welcome page

Schedule page

Hotels page

Customer's testimonial page

Contact page

Tour guide testimonial page

A. Dedeke / Tourism Management 54 (2016) 541e554 553

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