Factors Influencing International Students Behavioral Intention to Order Online Food Delivery Services

Factors Influencing International Students Behavioral Intention to Order Online Food Delivery Services

Isaac Kofi Mensah (School of Economics and Management, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology, Ganzhou, China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSITA.2019010102
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This study integrated culture (language) and perceived service quality into the UTAUT model to explore the intention of international students to order food online in China. The results have demonstrated that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, culture (language), and perceived service quality were all significant predictors of the intention of international students to order food online. Also, culture (language) was determined to influence the perceived service quality, effort expectancy, and performance expectancy of ordering food online. Performance expectancy, and effort expectancy were revealed to be significant predictors of perceived service quality. Furthermore, the intention to order food online was a determinant of the intention to recommend. The implications of these findings are discussed.
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Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is simply considered as the exchanges of goods and services via the virtual /electronic medium. It also has to do with any form of business transactions which enables the entities to engage each other electronically by eliminating the physical contact (Gupta, 2014). A broader definition of e-commerce is the application of information and communication technologies in business transactions in order to create, transform and redefine relationships for value creation between and among organizations and between organizations and individual (Gupta, 2014). Based on the nature of the interaction which occurs on the e-commerce platforms, e-commerce can be oclassified into Business-to Business (B2B), Business-t-Consumers (B2C), Business-to-Government (B2G), Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) and Mobile Commerce (m-commerce). The high technology development of the internet has provided a strong foundation for the e-commerce phenomenon to boom (Bressolles et al., 2014; Faqih & Jaradat, 2015; Nilashi et al., 2015; Towers & Xu, 2016). The development of e-commerce provides numerous benefits not only to businesses but particularly to the consumer. Consumers are now turning to e-commerce area to shop due to the comfort it offers them to shop at home conveniently without physical and time limitations (Jiang et al., 2013; Rezaei et al., 2016). This virtual marketplace provides unlimited access to many different types of product and services among other advantages like product customization, real-time interactive communication and quicker delivery services (Yeo et al., 2017).

China is one of the leading e-commerce giants in the world due to its high technological and economic development. More Chinese consumers conducted their shopping online in 2017 which saw e-retails sales reached $ 1 trillion for the first time in China (DigitalCommerce, 2018). This was an increase of 32% from 5.43 billion Yuan ($869 billion) in 2016 (DigitalCommerce, 2018). It is estimated that many of these online shoppers in China were consumers who reside outside of China’s big cities with their purchases increased by 39% in 2017 to 1.245 billion Yuan ($199 billion) which accounted for 17% of the online purchases (DigitalCommerce, 2018). The sale of tangible goods saw an increase from 28% to 5.48 trillion Yuan (%877 billion) which accounted for 15% of retail sales of physical good (DigitalCommerce, 2018). The positive ripple effect of the boom of the e-commerce market in China is the huge development of the online food delivery system in China. The growth of the online food delivery system in China is supported actively by the 300 million users of online delivery portals (Goldstein, 2018). The advancement in technology has broadened the nature and scope of online food delivery services with support from software solutions (Goldstein, 2018). The growth of the hospitality industry, development in infrastructure, rapid development and expansion of cities are major contributing factors to the growth of the food delivery industry and service providers (Goldstein, 2018). Other contributing factors to the growth of the online food market in China are improved logistics, increased penetration of the internet and smartphones as well as the development of user-friendly food apps (Goldstein, 2018). The main players in China’s online food delivery market are Meituan Waimai, Ele.me, ENJOY, Home-Cook, Daojia, Grab, Food Panda, Just Eat, and Grub Hub (Goldstein, 2018). It projected that online food delivery services in China will reach $48.1 million by 2025 (Goldstein, 2018). China has quite a number of international personalities living and staying in China either for work, study and other reasons. These international persons in China as per their presence within the Chinese community, there is a high possibility that they will engage in the online interaction which has engulfed the daily life of the Chinese people such as the penchant to order food online. International students are amongst the target foreign nationals who are in different Chinese universities to study who may actively interact with the internet-driven life in China to shop and purchase goods and services from the online market. It is therefore imperative for studies to examine the factors determining these foreign national decisions to engage in the online delivery services in China particularly the online food delivery system in China.

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