The relationship between website design and positive eWOM intention: testing mediator and moderator effect

    Quyen Phu Thi Phan Affiliation
    ; Michal Pilík Affiliation


Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has paid attention to the phenomenon of marketing strategy because of the power of online comments to behavioural consequences. The key challenge for scholars and practitioners is to explore why consumers would like to give positive reviews of products and service. However, little empirical research has been conducted on the effect of website design on eWOM intention. The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of website design (aesthetic and usability) on eWOM intention, which is based on the adoption of the stimulus – organism – response model. To test the hypotheses, the study uses the Partial Least Squares (PLS) to test a total of 290 respondents collected from Taiwanese customers via an online survey. The outcomes show the impact of the website’s design on the attitude toward it, which would lead to positive eWOM. The study also provides empirical evidence on the moderating role of online purchasing experience and the mediating effect of attitude toward a website on eWOM intention. Finally, the discussions also show implications and managerial insight for both scholars and marketers.

Keyword : eWOM intention, website design, aesthetic appeal, usability, attitude toward website, online purchasing experience

How to Cite
Phan, Q., & Pilík, M. (2018). The relationship between website design and positive eWOM intention: testing mediator and moderator effect. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 19(2), 382-398.
Published in Issue
Oct 8, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behaviour. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.

Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 11-73.

Becker, S. A., & Mottay, F. E. (2001). A global perspective on web site usability. IEEE Software, 18(1), 54-61.

Belanche, D., Casal, L. V., & Guinalu, M. (2012). Website usability, consumer satisfaction and the intention to use a website: the moderating effect of perceived risk. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 19(1), 124-132.

Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: the impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees. The Journal of Marketing, 56(2), 57-71.

Bontis, N., C., Booker, L. D., & Serenko, A. (2007). The mediating effect of organizational reputation on customer loyalty and service recommendation in the banking industry. Management Decision, 45(9), 1426-1445.

Casaló, L. V., Flavián, C., & Guinalíu, M. (2008). The role of satisfaction and website usability in developing customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth in the e-banking services. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 26(6), 399-417.

Chen, Q., Clifford, S. J., & Wells, W. D. (2002). Attitude toward the site II: new information. Journal of Advertising Research, 42(2), 33-45.

Cheung, C. M., & Lee, M. K. (2012). What drives consumers to spread electronic word of mouth in online consumer-opinion platforms. Decision Support Systems, 53, 218-225.

Cyr, D., Head, M., & Larios, H. (2010). Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: a multi-method evaluation. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68(1), 1-21.

Donovan, R. J., Rossiter, J. R., Marcoolyn, G., & Nesdale, A. (1994). Store atmosphere and purchasing behavior. Journal of Retailing, 70(3), 283-294.

Elliot, S., & Fowell, S. (2000). Expectations versus reality: a snapshot of consumer experiences with Internet retailing. International Journal of Information Management, 20(5), 323-336.

Eroglu, S. A., Machleit, K. A., & Davis, L. M. (2003). Empirical testing of a model of online store atmospherics and shopper responses. Psychology & Marketing, 20(2), 139-150.

Flavián, C., Guinalíu, M., & Gurrea, R. (2006). The role played by perceived usability, satisfaction and consumer trust on website loyalty. Information & Management, 43(1), 1-14.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(3), 382-388.

Gaeth, G. J. (1994). Theory and method in the study of ad and brand attitudes: toward a systemic model. In E. M. Clark, T. W. Brock, & D. W. Stewart (Eds.), Attention, attitude, and affect in response to advertising. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gefen, D., Karahanna, E., & Straub, D. W. (2003). Inexperience and experience with online stores: the importance of TAM and trust. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 50(3), 307-321.

Goldsmith, R. E., & Lafferty, B. A. (2002). Consumer response to Web sites and their influence on advertising effectiveness. Internet Research, 12(4), 318-328.

Ha, Y., & Im, H. (2012). Role of web site design quality in satisfaction and word of mouth generation. Journal of Service Management, 23(1), 79-96.

Hair, J. J. F., Hult, G. T. M., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2016). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling. Sage Publications.

Hamouda, M., & Tabbane, R. S. (2013). Impact of electronic word of mouth evaluation on purchase intention: the mediating role of attitude toward the product. International Journal of Online Marketing, 3(2), 20-37.

Harris, L. C., & Goode, M. M. (2010). Online servicescapes, trust, and purchase intentions. Journal of Services Marketing, 24(3), 230-243.

Hernández, B., Jiménez, J., & Martín, M. J. (2010). Customer behavior in electronic commerce: the moderating effect of E-purchasing experience. Journal of Business Research, 63(9), 964-971.

Hopkins, C. D., Grove, S. J., Raymond, M. A., & LaForge, M. C. (2009). Designing the E-servicescape: implications for online retailers. Journal of Internet Commerce, 8(1-2), 23-43.

Hsin Chang, H., & Wen Chen, S. (2008). The impact of online store environment cues on purchase intention: trust and perceived risk as a mediator. Online Information Review, 32(6), 818-841.

Hsu, C., Chen, Y., Yang, T., & Lin, W. (2017). Do website features matter in an online gamification context? Focusing on the mediating roles of user experience and attitude. Telematics and Informatics, 34(4), 196-205.

Jung, N. Y., & Kim, S. (2012). Determinants of electronic word-of-mouth: meta-analysis of quantitative research. In Proceedings of the Atlantic marketing association. Retrieved from

Karim, A. J. (2011). Evaluating the influence of reliability, usability, usefulness and website design on the satisfaction of online consumers. Research Journal of Economics, Business and ICT, 2, 28-32.

Kim, S., & Park, H. (2013). Effects of various characteristics of social commerce (s-commerce) on consumers’ trust and trust performance. International Journal of Information Management, 33(2), 318-332.

Kim, S., & Stoel, L. (2004). Apparel retailers: website quality dimensions and satisfaction. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 11(2), 109-117.

Kim, Y. J., & Kim, H. Y. (2010). The effect of justice and trust on eWOM in social media marketing: focused on power blog and meta blog. The Journal of Internet Electronic Commerce Research, 10(3), 131-155.

Kraft, P., Rise, J., Sutton, S., & Rysamb, E. (2005). Perceived difficulty in the theory of planned behaviour: perceived behavioural control or affective attitude? British Journal of Social Psychology, 44(3), 479-496.

Ladhari, R. (2007). The Effect of consumption emotions on satisfaction and word‐of‐mouth communications. Psychology & Marketing, 24(12), 1085-1108.

Lai, K. P., Chong, S. C., Ismail, H. B., & Tong, D. Y. K. (2014). An explorative study of shopper-based salient e-servicescape attributes: a means-end Chain approach. International Journal of Information Management, 34(4), 517-532.

Lee, K., Koo, D., & Noh, M. (2011). The effect of customer perceived value on social commerce usage intention. Asia Marketing Journal, 13(3), 135-161.

Lee, Y., & Kozar, K. A. (2012). Understanding of website usability: specifying and measuring constructs and their relationships. Decision Support Systems, 52(2), 450-463.

Ling, K. C., Chai, L. T., & Piew, T. H. (2010). The effects of shopping orientations, online trust and prior online purchase experience toward customers’ online purchase intention. International Business Research, 3(3), 63-76.

Loureiro, S. M. C. (2015). The role of website quality on PAD, attitude and intentions to visit and recommend Island destination. International Journal of Tourism Research, 17(6), 545-554.

Lowry, P. B., & Gaskin, J. (2014). Partial Least Squares (PLS) Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) for building and testing behavioral causal theory: when to choose it and how to use it. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57(2), 123-146.

Mehrabian, A., & Russell, J. A. (1974). An approach to environmental psychology. Cambridge, MA, US: The MIT Press.

Mikalef, P., Giannakos, M., & Pateli, A. (2013). Shopping and word-of-mouth intentions on social media. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 8(1), 17-34.

Moran, G., Muzellec, L., & Nolan, E. (2014). Consumer moments of truth in the digital context. Journal Of Advertising Research, 54(2), 200-204.

Okazaki, S. (2009). Social influence model and electronic word of mouth: PC versus mobile internet. International Journal of Advertising, 28(3), 439-472.

Park, J., Stoel, L., & Lennon, S. J. (2008). Cognitive, affective and conative responses to visual simulation: the effects of rotation in online product presentation. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 7(1), 72-87.

Pengnate, S. F., & Sarathy, R. (2017). An experimental investigation of the influence of website emotional design features on trust in unfamiliar online vendors. Computers in Human Behavior, 67, 49-60.

Porat, T., & Tractinsky, N. (2012). It᾽s a pleasure buying here: the effects of web-store design on consumers᾽ emotions and attitudes. Human – Computer Interaction, 27(3), 235-276.

Porat, T., Liss, R., & Tractinsky, N. 2007. E-stores design: the influence of e-store design and product type on consumers’ emotions and attitudes. In J. A. Jacko (Ed.), Human-computer interaction. HCI applications and services (Vol. 4553, pp. 712-721). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

Sandes, F. S., & Urdan, A. T. (2013). Electronic word-of-mouth impacts on consumer behavior: exploratory and experimental studies. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 25(3), 181-197.

Shaouf, A., Lü, K., & Li, X. (2016). The effect of web advertising visual design on online purchase intention: an examination across gender. Computers in Human Behavior, 60, 622-634.

Simová, J. (2013). Customers’ online shopping attitudes in relation to their online shopping experience. In Liberec Economic Forum (p. 495). Liberec: Technická univerzita v Liberci.

Simová, J., & Cinkánová, L. (2016). Attributes contributing to perceived customer value in the Czech clothing on-line shopping. E+M Ekonomie a Management, 19(3), 195-207.

Tang, L. R., Jang, S. S., & Morrison, A. (2012). Dual-route communication of destination websites. Tourism Management, 33(1), 38-49.

Tractinsky, N., & Lowengart, O. (2007). Web-store aesthetics in e-retailing: a conceptual framework and some theoretical implications. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 11(1), 1-18.

Venkatesh, A. (1998). Cyberculture: consumers and cybermarketscapes, servicescapes: the concept of place in contemporary markets (pp. 343-376). Lincolnwood, Ill.: NTC Business Books.

Verhoef, P. C., Franses, P. H., & Donkers, B. (2002). Changing perceptions and changing behavior in customer relationships. Marketing Letters, 13(2), 121-134.

Vila, N., & Kuster, I. (2011). Consumer feelings and behaviours toward well designed websites. Information & Management, 48(4), 166-177.

Vilnai-Yavetz, I., & Rafaeli, A. (2006). Aesthetics and professionalism of virtual servicescapes. Journal of Service Research, 8(3), 245-259.

Wang, L., Law, R., Guillet, B. D., Hung, K., & Fong, D. K. C. (2015). Impact of hotel website quality on online booking intentions: eTrust as a mediator. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 47, 108-115.

Wang, Y. J., Minor, M. S., & Wei, J. (2011). Aesthetics and the online shopping environment: understanding consumer responses. Journal of Retailing, 87(1), 46-58.

Wu, W., Lee, C., Fu, C., & Wang, H. (2013). How can online store layout design and atmosphere influence consumer shopping intention on a website? International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 42(1), 4-24.

Wu, W., Quyen, P. T. P., & Rivas, A. A. A. (2017). How e-servicescapes affect customer online shopping intention: the moderating effects of gender and online purchasing experience. Information Systems and e-Business Management, 15(3), 689-715.

Yang, F. X. (2017). Effects of restaurant satisfaction and knowledge sharing motivation on eWOM intentions: the moderating role of technology acceptance factors. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 41(1), 93-127.

Yoon, E. (2012). Effects of website environmental cues on consumers’ response and outcome behaviors. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Yu, J., Ha, I., Choi, M., & Rho, J. (2005). Extending the TAM for a T-commerce. Information & Management, 42(7), 965-976.