Online-Oriented Service Quality: An Aspect of Multichannel Retailing

Online-Oriented Service Quality: An Aspect of Multichannel Retailing

Samar I. Swaid (Philander Smith College, USA) and Rolf T. Wigand (University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-819-7.ch013
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Equipped with advancements in technology, multichannel retailers design multichannel servicing systems to meet their customers’ needs. A notable practice by multichannel shoppers is the online-oriented shopping, where shoppers search, purchase and pay online, while they go offline for products pickup/returns. Once multichannel retailers understand how shoppers evaluate service quality in the setting of online-oriented shopping, better servicing systems can be designed. This chapter is dedicated to understand how service quality is evaluated in online-oriented shopping. Because customer satisfaction is paramount, a service quality model incorporates customer satisfaction as an outcome. As this study is the first of its types focusing on service quality in the setting of “buy online, pickup in-store”, traditional retailers can consider our findings as guidelines of advancing into the online world. As such, pure online retailers can benefit from our findings in understanding the impact of establishing a physical presence on service quality models and customer satisfaction.
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Services sector is one of the main sectors of industrialized nations’ economy. According to the US National Academy of Engineering (as cited in Spohrer et al., 2007), the service sector accounts for more than 80% of the US gross domestic product and is projected to account for most of the US job growth (Hefley, 2008). The growth of service sectors benefitted from a large workforce number comprised of workers from the disciplines of science, engineering and management (Spohrer et al., 2007), while applying the information technology as its main infrastructure (Hefley, 2008) and businesses processes as its vehicle creating servicing systems. Unlike manufacturing depending completely on the manufacturer, servicing systems need both the collaboration of the service provider and service client in creating value (Tieng and Berg as cited in Spohrere et al., 2007).

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