Perceptions of Web Site Attractors and their Effectiveness: An East/West Comparison.

Dieter Fink School of MIS at Edith Cowan, University in Perth, Western Australia, but is visiting Canterbury University for a few months 

ABSTRACT The study compared the perceptions of Malaysian, representing eastern, Asian culture, and Australians, representing western, European culture, for four Web site attractors (atmospherics, news stories, signs, products and services), as part of the Integrated Internet Marketing model. Under controlled laboratory conditions, two groupings of thirty subjects evaluated eight Web sites in the retail and services sectors located equally in Malaysia and Australia. We hypothesised that the predominant culture would not be generalised to another culture. Some tentative support for the research premise was found since where a group's perceptions for Web attractors and their effectiveness was significantly higher, it was for sites originating in its country. Furthermore, east/west differences were more pronounced for some Web sites, such as was the case with one of the sites which reflected the outdoor, European Caf* life style found commonly in Australia and not encountered often in Malaysia. Another finding was that it might be possible to enhance the attractiveness of product and services displayed on Web sites by the inclusion of news stories. The study recognises the strength and the limitations of the controlled laboratory method of research and offers suggestions for further study.