A Study of Relationship Among Service Quality of E-Commerce Websites, Customer Satisfaction, and Purchase Intention

A Study of Relationship Among Service Quality of E-Commerce Websites, Customer Satisfaction, and Purchase Intention

Sanjay Dhingra (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India), Shelly Gupta (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India) and Ruchi Bhatt (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2020070103

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of online service quality of e-commerce websites on customer satisfaction and purchase intention. The study identifies the dimensions of e-service quality on the basis of the literature review, which are website design, reliability, responsiveness, trust, and personalization. A survey of 278 avid users of three popular websites was taken to validate the model. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire were checked through the measurement model and the structural equation model was used to confirm the relationship among the dimensions. The result shows that trust is the only e-service quality dimension that significantly influences overall service quality. The relationship between overall e-service quality and customer satisfaction as well as customer satisfaction and purchase intention was found statistically significant.
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Introduction

In this technological era, almost every business relies on the online platform to reach its customers to provide a wide range of goods and services. In the year 2018, global e-retail sales reported to 2.8 trillion dollars which is projected to reach 4.8 trillon dollars by the year 2021 (Statista, 2019). With people having less time to visit brick and mortar stores, the tendency to buy products online has increased manifold in recent years given the convenience, ubiquity, and ease of use by e-commerce websites. E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods over the internet. Online businesses are generally classified as Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C), and Business-to-Customer (B2C). A remarkable increase in the number of customers buying online as well as the amount spent by them has motivated many businesses to operate online. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (2018), “The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of 2017.” There is an astounding number of online players operating in India such as Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Shopclues, Paytm Mall, Limeroad, AJIO, Infibeam, Grofers, and many others who initially had offline outlets but now have online functioning. This growth in e-commerce service is also because of the growth of the internet, more usage of personal devices and the whole digital transformation of India. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (2018), “The ongoing digital transformation in the country is expected to increase India’s total internet user base to 829 million by 2021 (59 per cent of total population), from 373 million (28 per cent of population) in 2016, while total number of networked devices in the country is expected to grow to two billion by 2021, from 1.4 billion in 2016”. Growth in all these aspects has benefited e-commerce businesses in a huge way and has made firms realize the significant drivers of success in online business. For firms who have been long enough in the field of electronic commerce and have gained success have understood that triumph and failure in this field do not depend on just two factors website design and price, it also depends on overall e-service quality, i.e. the overall experience customers get from the online service (Zeithmal, 2002). Thus, they are continuously working on improving their service quality and give customers a superior experience to satisfy their needs and requirements.

Electronic service quality has been defined by Santos (2003) as by and large a customer review and evaluation of electronic service execution in an online marketplace. According to Parasuraman et al. (2005), “e-service quality encompasses all phases of a customer's interactions with a Web site: The extent to which a Web site facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing, and delivery” (p. 5). Parasuraman et al. (1988) first developed the SERVQUAL model containing five dimensions, namely tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy to measure the service quality as perceived by customers. This scale has been widely used by researchers to measure service quality in the e-commerce context. However, these dimensions are not enough to measure online service quality because of the difference between e-commerce marketplace setting and physical marketplace setting for which the SERVQUAL model was initially developed. Considering the absence of tangibility factor in online services, there should be more emphasis on creating a superior user interface to gain competitive advantage. Tangibility has been defined by Janahi and Almubarak (2015) like the convenience of location, design of physical facilities, materials, and use of communication equipment (p.598). Since online businesses lack the presence of any physical outlet and persistent salespersons to prompt the sale, attractive website design is fundamental to keep the customers engaged and buy the products.

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