Impact of E-Commerce in B2B Physical Distribution: Diffusion of Innovations Perspective

Impact of E-Commerce in B2B Physical Distribution: Diffusion of Innovations Perspective

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan (University of Bedfordshire Business School, UK), Usha Ramanathan (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and Tuğçe Karpuzcu (Nottingham University Business School, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch162
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Literature Survey And Hypotheses Development

Service Attributes Leading to Customer Satisfaction in Physical Distribution Services

Distributor/wholesaler channel systems are the ones that include a manufacturer, a distributor, and the distributor's customer, where the manufacturer sells product to the distributor, sometimes called a wholesaler, who sells to business customers (Maltz & Maltz, 1998). Inventory stocking, product availability, final delivery, and other basic aspects of customer service are some important responsibilities of distributors (Maltz & Maltz, 1998). Mentzer et al. (1989) highlight the importance of individual order cycle, starting from order placement and concluding with satisfactory delivery. Achieving high quality in PDS is critical in B2B settings (Perreault and Russ 1974), because a firm’s improved performance in terms of the service attributes can help differentiate itself from competitors (Xing and Grant, 2006).

Daugherty et al. (1998) found 11 attributes relevant to PDS – fill rate, orders shipped complete, cycle time consistency, cycle time length, delivery on due date, frequency of deliveries, communication of problems/changes, invoice accuracy, usage of advance shipping notices, usage of preferred carriers, and willingness to customize service. Similarly, Mentzer et al. (1999) found 9 attributes, including information quality, ordering procedures, ordering release quantities, timeliness, order accuracy (reflecting product availability), order quality, order condition, order discrepancy handling, and personal contact quality.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Service Factors: Service factors are major elements behind service improvements. This study considers three service factors namely order processing performance, logistics performance and customer service.

Innovation: Innovation can be any new idea or concept that can take businesses forward.

E-Transaction Convenience: This represents level of convenience experienced by customers using e-services for their business transactions. It mainly represents the e-safety in money transactions and the electronic channels for quick access.

E-Information Convenience: This represents the facility provided by e-services to help customers get more information about products and services.

E-Services: E-services are electronic services provided via online tools. Both service providers and customers are benefited using e-services.

Customer Satisfaction: This refers to the extent to which customers are happy with the services they obtain.

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