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					Services quality
dimensions of
Internet retailing:
an exploratory
Zhilin Yang, Robin T. Peterson, Shaohan Cai

                               Presented by
                               Jeff Weaver
• Explore, in depth, the underlying primary
  drivers of Internet-based purchasing service
Previous Work
• (Hof et al., 1998) – powerful search engines and
  possibilities for instant price comparisons on the Web
  force online suppliers to assess competitive prices and
  provide high product quality as absolute necessities.
• (Peterson et al., 1997) – Managers can employ their
  Web sites as of information sources and channels for
  customer service, including help and order status
  features, even when physical stores serve as the primary
  channel employed to generate good customer
  relationship. Online consumer behaviors are not fully
• (Oliva, 1997) – The Internet is a relatively new and
  unpredictable channel.
Previous work (cont.)
• (Parasuraman et al., 1985) – Ten dimensions: tangibles;
  reliability; responsiveness; communication; credibility;
  security; competence; courtesy; understanding the
  customer; and access.
• (Parasuraman et al., 1988) - Perceived service quality
  has been defined as a global judgment or attitude
  relating to the superiority of a given service. Ten
  dimensions to five: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness,
  assurance, and empathy (SERVQUAL).
• (Hedvall and Paltschick 1989) – two innovative
  dimensions: “willingness and ability to serve” ; and
  “physical and psychological access”.

•    (Dabholkar et al. 1996) – five dimensions: physical
    aspects; reliability; personal interaction; problem
    solving; and policy.
Previous work (cont..)
• (Siu and Cheung 2001) – six dimensions: personal
  interaction; policy; physical appearance; promise;
  problem solving; and convenience.
• (Mehta et al. 2000) – applied both SERVQUAL and
  Dabholkar (five-dimension model) to two different
  settings: service-intensive retailing; and goods-intensive
  *Note: S.Q. dimensions tend to be contingent on
  different industries and various service types even within
  one industry.

• (Hoffman and Novak 1997) – personalization to
  conceptualize the Internet as a unique consumer
Previous work (cont…)
• (Cox and Dale 2001) – Traditional service quality
  dimensions and their contents are still applicable to
  Internet-based services. Traditional S.Q. dimensions
  such as accessibility, communication, creditability,
  understanding, appearance, and availability.
• (Zeithaml et al. 2001) – 13 e-service quality dimensions:
  reliability, responsibility, access, flexibility, ease of
  navigation, efficiency, assurance/trust, security, price
  knowledge, site aesthetics, and
• (Yang et al. 2001) – 10 quality dimensions which were
  sorted into three categories: product cost and
  availability; customer service; and online information
Previous work (cont….)
• (Doll and Torkzadeh 1988) – “end-user”. 12 scale items
  that gauge five quality dimensions influencing end-user
  satisfaction: content, accuracy, format, ease of use, and
  timeliness. (Doll et al.,1994) – confirmed scale’s validity
• (Rice 1997) – Users to revisit to the Web Site, most
  important variables were design features, such as
  content, layout, ease of locating information, ease of
  navigation, and emotional experience (such as
  enjoyment and excitement).
• (Balfour et al. 1998) – transaction security and personal
  information privacy desires.

• (Dellaert and Kahn 1999) – download waiting time
  negatively affected consumers’ (Web site’s performance)
Previous work (cont…..)
• (Liu and Arnett 2000) – identified information quality,
  system use, and system design quality as major inputs
  for the success of Web sites.
• (Johnston 1995) – dissatisfaction and satisfaction
  (Johnston 1997) – classified all dimensions into satisfied,
  dissatisfied, and dual factors.
• (Mittal et al. 1998) – “Asymmetric effect”. Increase
  customer satisfaction and loyalty.
• (Ford et al. 1997, p. 79) – consumer complaints and
  compliments have long been employed as sources of
  feedback on company performance.
• (Cadotte and Turgeon 1988) – online customer
  contribute time and effort in post-use evaluation process
  are salient attribute of their shopping experiences.
• Reviewed ten most prominent online review Web sites;
  three selection criteria were established.
• Ten of the most influential online health product
  companies were selected for study.
• The authors accessed the two sites (Gomez and
  Ratingwonders) which fully met the requirements, from
  November 1-10, 2000, to secure anecdotes.

• 2,105 individual consumer comments obtained. Reduced
  to 1,078 useful consumer anecdotes. 65 words was
  average length for anecdotes.
• All anecdotes were numbered, formatted, and imported
  to Ethonograph 5.0 (coding qualitative data).
• Two categories: satisfied (positive performance) and
  dissatisfied (negative performance) attributes (Fig. 1)
Figure 1
• This study identified a total of 14 dimensions of service
  quality and 42 salient sub-dimensions in Internet
  retailing (see Table I). We present and discuss key
  identified service quality dimensions and those unique to
  the Internet setting. Additionally, drivers of satisfaction
  and dissatisfaction are also examined.
Table 1
Key service quality dimensions
• Of 14 service quality dimensions, the eight most
  frequently mentioned quality dimensions constitute 89.9
  per cent of all mentions while the remaining six factors
  only embrace 10.1 per cent. These eight dimensions are:
  responsiveness (30.3 per cent of all mentions);
  credibility (16.0 per cent); ease of use; (12.4 per cent);
  reliability (11.4 per cent); convenience (6.1 per cent);
  communication (5.2 per cent); access (4.6 per cent);
  and competence (3.9 per cent).
E-mail Inquiries
• Numerous online customers utilize e-mail as an
  important channel to communicate with the online
  company. A quick and responsive e-mail service is a
  distinct and important feature for both the access and
  the responsiveness dimensions.
• One customer described his/her satisfaction with prompt
  e-mail reply:
   “I sent them an e-mail requesting status on the diapers
   and was told that they were backordered and would be
   shipped within two weeks. Well I did receive them and it
   only took five days. Great service. They even responded
   to my e-mail the next day. Will definitely order from
   them again.”
• *Note:
  Customer satisfaction = Perceptions - Expectations
Quality Dimensions
• Convenience; continuous improvement; collaboration;
  security and privacy; and aesthetics.
  Note: Were not included by the ten dimensions
  proposed by Parasuraman and five dimension model of
  end-user computing satisfaction proposed by Doll and
Satisfied/Dissatisfied Categories
• The five most frequently mentioned for the satisfied
  categories are responsiveness (30.7 per cent of all
  mentions), credibility (18.4 per cent), ease of use (12.6
  per cent), reliability (8.5 per cent), and convenience (8.0
  per cent). These five dimensions represented 78.2 per
  cent of all mentions, while the remaining 12 dimensions
  only registered 21.8 per cent.
• For the dissatisfied group, “responsiveness” is also the
  most influential source (29.4 per cent), followed by
  reliability (18.6 per cent), ease of use (12.0 per cent),
  credibility (9.9 per cent), and competence (6.8 per cent).
  These five factors account for 76.7 per cent of all
• Listening to the voices of their customers is the initial
  step in planning service quality improvement endeavors.
  In turn, the identification of customers’ expectations
  related to Internet purchasing provides a frame of
  reference for online companies to assess their overall
  service quality. Once this preliminary activity has been
  satisfactorily completed, full-fledged improvement efforts
  can be initiated.
• Ideally, management should grant attention to the full
  spectrum of 14 dimensions identified in this study.
  However, given resource constraints faced by most
  firms, management may elect to focus on the key
  dimensions of responsiveness, credibility, ease of use,
  reliability, convenience and access. These particular
  dimensions are likely to yield a higher degree of
  satisfaction that than other dimensions
Conclusion (cont.)
• As such, prompt response to customer concerns and
  inquiries, and interactive communication are critical in
  order that consumers might reap the convenience of
  online shopping.
• Equally important, companies should deliver promised
  services with high degrees of accountability and
• Finally, the trustworthiness and believability of an online
  retailer can only be generated through reliable and
  prompt services.
• The possibility of obtaining biased results from self-
  selected samples of Internet consumers might be higher
  than is desirable.
• Second, consumer compliments and complaints
  generally reflect extreme dissatisfaction or satisfaction,
  but may not identify neutral factors (Johnston, 1995).
Suggestions for future studies
• Future studies may attempt to compensate for the
  weaknesses of content analysis of compliments and
• Other measurement methods, such as mail surveys or
  focus group interviews, can be utilized to access the
  validity of the identified dimensions. Then, those
  validated quality dimensions can be purified by
  employing confirmatory factor analysis. After mutually
  exclusive dimensions are identified, the relationship
  between service quality dimensions, and overall Internet
  purchasing service quality and customer satisfaction can
  be ascertained more comprehensively.

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