Janet Lovera

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising

First Advisor

Xiaowen Xu

Second Advisor

Alexander Carter


There is limited research available aimed at identifying specifically how a small business shopper may experience different pain points during checkout in comparison to well-known retail websites and the layout of their e-commerce websites. Enlightened by the Technology Adoption Model and the concept of consumer trust, the purpose of this research is to determine similar characteristics across small business e-commerce websites to identify common pain points for users, or simply what small businesses lack regarding common elements that ease the checkout experience for consumers. From these insights, elements within the checkout experience can be compared to the pain points of those of larger retail websites. With these comparisons, new recommendations can be made for smaller businesses on how to adjust checkout elements to create a smoother experience for shoppers. This research involved a content analysis on a variety of elements within a checkout experience to compare a sample of 50 small business e-commerce websites. The results showed that a majority of small business websites are not implementing recommended elements that will enhance the online checkout experience. Yet, small businesses need it the most to establish e-commerce credibility.