Senior Citizens and E-commerce Websites: The Role of Perceived Usefulness Web Site Usability

Terry Smith
InSITE 2008  •  Volume 8  •  2008
Many companies now actively use the Web as a key marketing and sales vehicle for their goods or services. To be successful, e-commerce Web sites must be useful, easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to understand - measures of the Technology Acceptance Model’s (TAM) variables Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use. Although many studies have used the model to better understand e-commerce, the problem is that they have ignored one very important external variable - the effects that an aging population may have on the usability the Internet and of e-commerce Web sites. As people age, they begin to experience problems with their vision, their hearing, cognitive functions, and their mobility. It was posited that the TAM and its variables of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, influenced by the product and services offered by the Web site, the usability of the Web site, and the senior’s ability to use the Internet, determine a senior’s attitude toward and behavioral intention to use e-commerce Web sites. It was found that the research model accurately reflects the effects of the aging process and that the perceived usefulness of e-commerce Web sites positively and significantly influenced a senior’s attitude toward using and intention to use the Web sites. It was also found that a Web site’s usability positively and significantly influenced the perceived ease of use of e-commerce Web sites.
Technology Acceptance Model; Web site usability; E-commerce
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