Does web site adoption timing influence subsequent use of the technology

Having established statistically significant differences between the adopter groups in terms of the factors that influenced initial web site development, the analysis then went on to consider whether differences existed in terms of how the web site is being used by firms who had adopted the web at different times. Does the time at which the innovation is adopted affect the subsequent use of the technology? For example, we may expect that firms that adopted the technology early (such as innovators and early adopters), with a deliberate strategic intention might be making greater use of the web compared with those that adopted the technology later with a less clear idea.

Two key areas of web site use help to inform this. First, we asked IFAs to indicate how products were represented on

Table VII MANOVA results

Dependent variable

Type III sum of squares df

Mean square

Sig.

Emergent Deliberate Responsive Me-too

1G.424 11.111 1.45G 12.5B1

Table VIII Relative importance of the factors influencing web site development

Emergent

Deliberate

Me-too

Adopter category

Mean

SD

Rank

Mean

SD

Rank

Mean

SD

Rank

Innovators

2.B8G

G.689

2

4.111

G.726

1

2.4GG

G.9B6

4

Early adopters

2.176

G.82G

5

B.2G6

G.982

2

2.952

G.967

B

Early majority

2.BG7

G.778

B

B.1B7

G.89B

4

B.12B

1.GG

1

Late majority

2.192

G.8B7

4

2.812

1.G97

5

2.B47

1.G16

5

Laggards

2.662

G.6B4

1

B.151

1.G64

B

2.956

1.142

2

Tina Harrison and Kathryn Waite their web site. This reveals the extent to which the web site is being used in the following ways:

• Purely as a commercial brochure or as static advertising (i.e. there are no products displayed on the web site).

• As a means of providing information (i.e. product information is provided).

• As a sales channel (i.e. clients can make an application for and/or buy a product online).

Second IFAs were asked how much of their total business is conducted online.

In terms of how the web site is being used, overall 38 per cent of firms do not display or mention any products on their web site, 45 per cent offer product information only, and 17 per cent offer clients the possibility to apply for and/or buy products online. With regards to how this looks for each of the adopter categories a Chi-Square measure of association was conducted to test for statistically significant differences between the adopter groups and how the web site is being used. Table IX shows that there are statistically significant differences at the 10 per cent level. Note that laggards could not be included in the analysis as, by definition, they are only developing a web site at present. Hence web site use is not relevant to this group.

The findings reveal that innovators show the most advanced use of the web site: none of the innovators are using the web site purely as brochure-ware and 44 per cent offer clients the opportunity to apply for and/or buy products online. The early adopters and the early majority show a greater propensity to use the web site for providing product information, whereas the late majority show a greater propensity not to provide any products on the web site, suggesting the greatest likelihood of using the web as a brochure or static advertising.

In terms of the proportion of business conducted online, the sample is split almost equally: 52 per cent of firms do not conduct any business online, 48 per cent conduct some business online, although for the majority this represents small amounts of no more than a quarter of the total business. In terms of how this looks across the adopter groups, a Chi-Squared analysis revealed no statistically significant differences.

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