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E-commerce websites, consumer order fulfillment and after-sales service satisfaction: The customer is always right, even after the shopping cart check-out


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Purpose: This research identifies the critical factors of online service delivery of electronic commerce (e-commerce) websites, including website attractiveness, website functionality, website security and consumer fulfillment during an unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: A structured questionnaire was used to gather data from 430 online respondents, who were members in popular social media groups. The survey instrument relied on valid and reliable measures relating to electronic service quality (e-SERVQUAL), to better understand the participants’ satisfaction with shopping websites as well as their loyal behaviors and word-of mouth activities. Findings: The findings reported that consumers valued the e-commerce websites’ features and their consumer order fulfillment capabilities. These factors increase the consumers’ satisfaction with online shopping experiences, generate repeat business as well as positive reviews in social media. Originality: This contribution posits that e-commerce websites ought to be appealing, functional and offer secure transactions. More importantly, it suggests that online merchants should consistently deliver a personalized service in all stages of an online purchase, including after the delivery of the ordered products. Research implications / limitations: This study addresses a knowledge gap in academia. To date, little research has focused on the consumer order fulfillment aspect of e-commerce transactions and on the after-sales services of online businesses.
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E-commerce websites, consumer order fulfillment and after-sales service satisfaction: The
customer is always right, even after the shopping cart check-out!
By Mark Anthony Camilleri
, University of Malta, Malta and University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Suggested citation: Camilleri, M.A. (2021). E-commerce websites, consumer order fulfillment and after-sales service
satisfaction: The customer is always right, even after the shopping cart check-out, Journal of Strategy and
Management, 15(3), 377-396.
Purpose: This research identifies the critical factors of online service delivery of electronic commerce (e-
commerce) websites, including website attractiveness, website functionality, website security and
consumer fulfillment during an unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Design/methodology/approach: A structured questionnaire was used to gather data from 430 online
respondents, who were members in popular social media groups. The survey instrument relied on valid and
reliable measures relating to electronic service quality (e-SERVQUAL), to better understand the
participants’ satisfaction with shopping websites as well as their loyal behaviors and word-of mouth
Findings: The findings reported that consumers valued the e-commerce websites’ features and their
consumer order fulfillment capabilities. These factors increase the consumers’ satisfaction with online
shopping experiences, generate repeat business as well as positive reviews in social media.
Originality: This contribution posits that e-commerce websites’ ought to be appealing, functional and offer
secure transactions. More importantly, it suggests that online merchants should consistently deliver a
personalized service in all stages of an online purchase, including after the delivery of the ordered products.
Research implications / limitations: This study addresses a knowledge gap in academia. To date, little
research has focused on the consumer order fulfillment aspect of e-commerce transactions and on the after-
sales services of online businesses.
Keywords: electronic service quality, consumer fulfillment, website functionality, consumer satisfaction,
consumer loyalty, word-of-mouth.
Department of Corporate Communication, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta, Malta. Email:
1. Introduction
E-commerce has grown at an exponential rate during the unprecedented outbreak of the
COVID-19 (Barnes, 2020; Sheth, 2020). Many companies, including small businesses have
recognized the potential of selling their products through the Internet. COVID-19 has accelerated
the shift towards a more digital world (Sheth, 2020). It led to the expansion of e-commerce
transactions, ranging from luxury goods and services to everyday necessities. E-commerce has
increased across different product categories during the pandemic. More online users are using
digital and mobile technologies to search about products or services
They may be intrigued to
finalize their online transactions and make a purchase, if they perceive that the service quality of
the online business would meet and exceed their expectations
(Flanagin, Metzger, Pure, Markov
and Hartsell, 2014; Rajamma, Paswan and Ganesh, 2007).
WEF (2020) reported that there was a significant increase in online purchases relating to
grocery items, information and communications technologies or electronics, gardening or do-it-
yourself, pharmaceuticals, education, furniture or household as well as cosmetics or personal care
products, among other items. Several consumers from advanced and developing countries, have
also increased the frequency of their online purchases (UNCTAD, 2020). COVID-19 has shifted
consumer demand from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce (Barnes, 2020). The pandemic’s
preventative measures have led individuals to follow social distancing procedures and to limit their
physical interactions with other persons, to curb the spread of the contagion (Camilleri, 2021). In
a similar vein, consumers were encouraged to avoid crowded stores and to utilize the internet to
procure everyday items (OECD, 2020).
E-commerce is different from traditional shopping. Online websites can feature a wide
array of products. They are easily accessible, functional and convenient without the restrictions of
time and space (Barrera and Carrión, 2014; Chang and Wang, 2011). Typically, online users can
easily compare the attributes, features and prices of different products through their personal
computers or mobile devices. They can access a wide range of alternative products with more
competitive prices in various websites. Thus, user-friendly and responsive e-commerce websites
and online marketplaces can capture the attention of their visitors and entice them to make a
purchase. Eventually, they may re-visit these websites, if they were satisfied with their levels of
service quality (Li, Peng, Jiang and Law, 2017). Hence, e-commerce websites and online
marketplaces are expected to deliver a personalized customer service to online users (Tong, Luo
& Xu, 2020).
Many direct-to-consumer merchants are increasingly using public cloud platforms like
Amazon Personalize and PinPoint, among others, to differentiate themselves through immersive
omnichannel online experiences, to win new customers (Shopify, 2021). They are relying on the
expertise of ecommerce giants and on their machine learning capabilities to provide personalized
recommendations, to help their customers discover products, deals and promotions. Online
marketplace technologies are supporting merchants to delivering unique consumer experiences,
during and after the sales transactions (Amazon, 2021). Online merchants can minimize their
consumers’ complaints if they respond to their queries in a timely manner (Santouridis, Trivellas
and Tsimonis, 2012). For instance, they are providing more information about shipping and
delivery options of products before consumers lay down their credit card details. The automated
shipping and consumer fulfillment are becoming a competitive differentiator as consumers are
interested in brands that offer fast, reliable, and sustainable shipping options (Nguyen, de Leeuw
and Dullaert, 2018).
Although there are many empirical studies that have explored the service quality of retail
websites (Wu, Shen and Chang, 2015; Ariff, Yun, Zakuan and Ismail, 2013; Büyüközkan and
Çifçi, 2012; Akinci, Atilgan-Inan and Aksoy, 2010; Ladhari, 2009; Parasuraman, Zeithaml and
Malhotra, 2005; Santos, 2003; Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Malhotra, 2000), for the time being,
little research has focused on the consumer fulfillment aspect of e-commerce transactions, during
an extraordinary crisis like COVID-19. Therefore, this contribution builds on relevant theoretical
underpinnings that are grounded in the service-dominant logic (SDL). Its empirical research
addresses a gap in academic knowledge by investigating the effects of website attractiveness,
website functionality, website security and consumer order fulfillment on consumer satisfaction,
loyalty behaviors and word-of-mouth activities during an unprecedented pandemic situation.
The data was collected from 430 online users who were members of two popular social
media groups. A structured questionnaire was used to investigate their perceptions and attitudes
about online shopping experiences during COVID-19. This study’s objectives are threefold:
Firstly, it presents a critical review of the literature that is focused on the service quality of e-
commerce websites. Secondly, it puts forward a theoretical model that consists of measures that
were tried and tested in academia. This research reveals the validity and reliability of the proposed
research model. Thirdly, it identifies the implications of this contribution to academia and
This article is structured as follows: The following section sheds light on the conceptual
framework and formulates the hypotheses of this research. Hence, the methodology section
clarifies how the data was captured and analyzed. The results section provides an interpretation of
the findings. In conclusion, this contribution puts forward its theoretical as well as its practical
implications. It identifies its research limitations and outlines future research avenues to academia.
2. The Conceptual framework
2.1 e-Loyalty
The consumers’ re-purchase intentions construct is usually considered as the likelihood
that consumers will continue buying products from the same merchant or website (Nguyen et al.,
2018; Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman, 1996). The consumer loyalty in an electronic service
environment (i.e. e-loyalty) prompts online users to revisit e-commerce websites and to repeat
their purchase behaviors (Cyr, Hassanein, Head and Ivanov, 2007). Their loyalty towards
particular online marketplaces (or towards online vendors) is one of the major factors that increases
their profitability. Online consumers tend to be less loyal than consumers who purchase products
and services through brick-and-mortar settings (Rajamma et al., 2007). In anonymous and
automated shopping contexts, online users can quickly compare competing products and services
with minimal efforts (Srinivasan, Anderson and Ponnavolu, 2002). Consumers who utilize an e-
commerce website’s services are likely to find alternative sites that can also satisfy their shopping
requirements (Anderson and Srinivasan, 2003).
2.2 e-Satisfaction
Consumer satisfaction is one of the fundamental concepts in the marketing literature. This
notion epitomizes the consumers’ state of fulfillment and evidences their positive or negative
feelings about the product or service they received (Evanschitzky, Iyer, Hesse and Ahlert, 2014;
Oliver, 2014; Collier and Bienstock, 2006). It is often described as a subjective judgement that is
driven from the consumers' personal feelings of pleasure or disappointment, as they compare the
purchased products’ performance (or outcome) with their expectations (Oliver, 2014; Walker,
1995). In an online context, the consumers’ satisfaction from e-commerce websites (i.e. e-
satisfaction) represents their contentment with respect to previous purchase experiences through
specific websites (Anderson and Srinivasan, 2003). The e-commerce websites most important
goals are to deliver long term value to online customers to trigger loyal behaviors. Many studies
reported that the quality of the mentioned websites and the consumers’ satisfaction levels with
respect to their prior purchase experiences can have a significant effect on their loyalty toward
electronic shopping services (Rodríguez, Villarreal, Valiño and Blozis, 2020; Nguyen et al., 2018).
The consumers’ e-satisfaction has a significant and positive impact on their e-loyalty (Castañeda,
Rodríguez and Luque, 2009). This argumentation leads to the first hypothesis:
H1: The consumers’ e-satisfaction has a positive and significant effect on their e-loyalty.
Prospective consumers are increasingly evaluating and appraising different products,
services as well as the service performance of online businesses, e-commerce websites or
marketplaces before committing themselves to making a purchase (Kemény, Simon, Nagy and
Szucs, 2016; Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh and Gremler, 2004). Electronic word-of-mouth (e-
WOM) communications have often been described as the consumers’ positive or negative
statements, relating to their knowledge and experience about a product or service provider (Guo,
Barnes and Jia, 2017; Rossmann, Ranjan and Sugathan, 2016). Their experience is usually
disseminated to a multitude of online and mobile users through social media and consumer review
websites (Troise and Camilleri, 2021; Camilleri, 2019). The consumers’ testimonials and
recommendations can help prospective customers to make up their mind with their purchase
decisions (Park and Lee, 2009).
The advances in Web 2.0 coupled with the increased growth of social media networks have
inevitably led to more interactions from consumers, who may be intrigued to share their opinions
about their service encounters or on the products they used, with other individuals (Capriotti, Zeler
and Camilleri, 2021; Wu et al., 2015; Huang, Zhang, Liu and Liang, 2014). The e-WOM publicity
that is featured in social networking sites (SNSs) can transmit mixed brand messages to millions
of online users. Hence, the consumers’ satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with products and services
can lead them to publish their recommendations or referrals (Rather and Camilleri, 2019). On the
other hand, their dissatisfaction with previous purchase may encourage them to voice their
negative experiences with other online users. Hence, in this case, the consumers’ intention is to
tarnish the image and reputation of the online seller or marketplace (Chu and Kim, 2011). This
leads to the following hypothesis:
H2: The consumers’ e-satisfaction has a positive and significant effect on their e-WOM.
The consumers’ satisfaction and loyalty toward an online business or marketplace is
dependent on the consistent delivery of electronic service (e-service) quality (Barrutia, Paredes
and Echebarria, 2016; Wu et al., 2015). There are several academic commentators that have
attempted to define and conceptualize the notion of e-service quality. Zeithaml, Parasuraman and
Malhotra (2002) suggested that eservice quality is “the extent to which a website facilitates
efficient and effective shopping, purchasing, and delivery of products and services”. Santos (2003)
maintained that service quality in e-commerce involves “the consumers´ overall evaluation and
judgement of the excellence and quality of service offerings in the virtual marketplace”. Many
researchers strived in their endeavors to identify the factors that affect the consumers’ perceptions
about the service quality of websites (Büyüközkan and Çifçi, 2012).
e-Service quality is a comprehensive construct that covers both preweb and postwebsite
service aspects. Lee and Lin (2005) argued that the consumers’ perceptions about eservice quality
in online shopping are influenced by: website design (degree of user friendliness), reliability
(trustworthiness and security), responsiveness (courteous customer service and helpfulness), and
personalization (differentiating services to satisfy specific individual needs).
Many researchers explored the respondents’ perceptions and experience with online
retailing, price comparison sites, travel search engines, and electronic banking, among other e-
commerce websites. Several studies relied on the following measuring scales to evaluate the
service quality of websites: electronic service quality (e-SQ or e-SERVQUAL) (Wu et al., 2015;
Ariff et al., 2013; Büyüközkan and Çifçi, 2012; Ho and Lin, 2010; Ladhari, 2009; Fassnacht and
Koese, 2006; Parasuraman et al., 2005; Santos, 2003; Zeithaml et al., 2000), electronic retail
quality (eTailQ) (Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2003).
Others developed transaction process-based approaches for capturing service quality
(eTransQual) (Bauer, Falk, and Hammerschmidt, 2006), or identified key quality factors in web
site designs (KQFs) (Cox and Dale, 2002); and developed theoretical models that are closely
related to e-SQ, including net quality (NETQual) (Bressolles and Nantel, 2008); perceived e-
service quality (PeSQ) (Cristobal, Flavian, and Guinaliu, 2007), site quality (SITEQUAL) (Yoo
and Donthu, 2001), Website Quality (webQual) (Loiacono, Watson and Goodhue, 2007; Barnes
and Vidgen, 2002) and WebQualTM (Loiacono, Watson, and Dale, 2002), among others. Figure
1 presents a list of key elements for the delivery of service quality of e-commerce websites and
electronic marketplaces, that will be explored in this empirical research.
Service Quality Factors of e-Commerce Websites and Online Marketplaces
Figure 1. Key elements for the effective delivery of service quality of e-commerce websites and online marketplaces
Website Functionality
Ease of use
Website Security
After-sales service
Customer Service
The e-service quality features, including website attractiveness, website functionality,
website security and consumer fulfillment are significant antecedents of e-satisfaction, e-loyalty
and e-WOM (Rossmann et al., 2016; Ladhari, 2009; Cristobal et al., 2007; Parasuraman et al.,
2005; Santos, 2003; Zeithaml et al., 2000).
2.3 Website attractiveness
Many researchers maintained that website designs and their presentation are important
dimensions of e-service quality (Li et al., 2017; Wakefield, Wakefield, Baker and Wang, 2011;
Yoo and Donthu, 2001). The structure, layout and organization of the web sites’ content can
capture the online and/or mobile users’ attention. Alternatively, they may lure them to visit other
competitors’ sites (King, Schilhavy, Chowa and Chin, 2016). Attractive website designs provide
easily accessible information, use large, legible fonts and may feature appropriate colors that are
coordinated with the company’s logo and corporate image. Their calls to action may usually
include high-contrast buttons, as well as clear information to enhance the online visitors’
experiences, and can facilitate their purchase transactions (Flanagin et al., 2014). Conversely, a
complicated funnel could prevent prospective customers from finalizing online transactions.
The aesthetics of attractive website designs can play a critical role in improving the
browsing experience of online visitors (Li and Yeh, 2010; Ranganathan and Ganapathy, 2002).
The appearance of corporate websites is usually the first determinant that is noticed by online and
mobile users. Of course, individuals will have different preferences. They may hold varying
attitudes and perceptions on what they consider as key elements that can increase the websites’
appeal. For instance, they may favor one color or image, over another. A specific color may be
alluring to a person, yet it may be considered inappropriate for other individuals. Website
developers may utilize certain colors to engage with online users. They may use vivid, eye
catching varieties, pleasant tones or complementary hues and shades. In addition, they may include
good-quality graphics, images, animations and/or multimedia features, including Java applets,
moving objects, and zooming effects, to improve their visual appeal. Generally, too many or too
little images, as well as the use of small text and images are not appropriate to captivate the
attention of the users of mobile technologies, including tablets and smartphone technologies.
Several studies reported different findings on the effects of attractive website designs on
online consumers’ behaviors. For instance, Parasuraman (2000) found that a web site’s appearance
entices online users to continue browsing through its content, and to revisit it again, whether the
actual product is appealing or not. Other researchers reported that the websites’ designs have a
positive effect on their customers’ satisfaction (Li et al., 2017; Tsang, Lai and Law, 2010;
Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2003). This leads to the following hypothesis:
H3: Website attractiveness has a positive and significant effect on the consumers’ e-satisfaction.
2.4 Website functionality
The website’s functionality is related to its instrumental utility, technical capability and
efficiency in terms of offering relevant information about products. Online users will usually
perceive the functionality of a website if they are in a position to check out its content, with
minimal efforts (Cristobal et al., 2007; Collier and Bienstock, 2006). Hence, e-commerce websites
ought to be useful and easy to use, to satisfy their consumers’ needs for information. Online users
should find it simple and straightforward to access and to find their way through shopping web
sites. They expect to find what they need, without difficulty, and to maneuver effortlessly and
quickly, back and forth, through e-commerce pages. Prospective consumers have to be in a position
to clearly understand the ecommerce websites’ content, including their terms and conditions.
These websites ought to be reliable, concise, accurate, timely and complete (Filieri, 2015).
Their technical functionality relies on the accuracy of e-commerce services. For example,
the shopping websites’ inventory systems should always feature correct product information of all
items that are readily available in stock. Typically, online users would assess the variety and range
of products that are available in the e-commerce websites. Many online marketplaces provide
comparative information on a wide range of products during the shopping journeys of their
visitors. They also present clear pricing information in their check-out process, including the costs
of delivery (Mauri, Sainaghi and Viglia, 2019). E-commerce websites and marketplaces can offer
flexible payment methods and shipping options. In this day and age, they should provide clear
information on their returning policies. They may direct online users to frequently answered
questions, use chatbots or offer a webchat facility, if they require the assistance of customer service
(Adam, Wessel and Benlian, 2020; Nordheim, Følstad and Bjørkli, 2019).
The online users’ perceptions about the website’s functionality as well as their e-
satisfaction would probably be influenced by the breadth and depth of products that are featured
in the retailers’ websites (Nguyen et al., 2018). Hence, the website’s functionality is considered to
be one of the most important dimensions that increases the customers’ satisfaction (Adam et al.,
2020; Tsang et al., 2010). This leads to the following hypothesis:
H4: Website functionality has a positive and significant effect on the consumers’ e-satisfaction.
2.5 Website security
The website security has been defined as the degree to which online users believe that the
web page is safe and that their personal information is protected (Parasuraman et al., 2005; Santos,
2003). Consumers ought to be convinced that they are dealing with a trustworthy shopping
website. They have to be assured that the data they are sharing with the online merchants or
marketplaces, including their credit card details, cannot be accessed and used by others for
fraudulent purposes (Okazaki, Hairong and Morikazu 2009; Chang, Wang and Yang, 2009).
Online users have to feel confident that e-commerce website offer secure and safe transactions in
the virtual context (Neuburger, Beck and Egger, 2018; Cristobal et al. 2007). Thus, the notion of
website security is frequently associated with website privacy in an online service environment
(Wolfinbarger and Gilly, 2002). The absence of privacy in a website is one of the main concerns
of online users and may deter them from shopping online (Barrera and Carrión, 2014; Cristobal et
al. 2007).
The website’s security is a vital e-service quality dimension (Parasuraman et al., 2005;
Santos, 2003). Online businesses and marketplaces are entrusted with their consumers’ personal
information. It is their responsibility to protect their consumers’ data. They may use SSL
certificates to prove that their transactions are safe and secure. This way, online users will be
reassured that ecommerce websites are trustworthy. as they are safeguarding their online details.
Previous research confirmed that consumer privacy was found to have a significant effect on
overall perceptions about e-service quality as well as on e-customer satisfaction (Barrera and
Carrión, 2014). This leads to the following hypothesis:
H5: Website security has a positive and significant effect on the consumers’ e-satisfaction.
2.6 Consumer fulfillment
Secure web sites ensure that the consumers’ personal information remain secure. However,
before providing their personal account and payment details, consumers have to choose their
desired products, add them to their shopping cart or proceed to check-out, if they are readily
available in stock (Chang et al., 2009). Nguyen et al. (2018) argued that the e-commerce websites’
failure to live up to the consumers’ order-fulfilment promises can be detrimental to their online
sales. They pointed out that out-of-stocks are negatively correlated with the consumers’ loyalty to
a business. Retailers face a trade-off between offering a wide range of product categories in their
website whilst incurring higher inventory costs, to satisfy their customers (Nguyen et al., 2018).
The e-commerce websites should provide wide product assortment, fulfill their orders correctly,
deliver items as quickly as possible and have to be as responsive as possible to consumer enquiries,
within a reasonable timeframe (Santos, 2003). They have to facilitate the fast completion of an
online transaction and should strive to minimize their consumers’ efforts. Their ongoing provision
of customer service is a key element for achieving good results in an online shop (Cristobal et al.
2007; Zeithaml et al., 2002).
Consumers are increasingly expecting a personalized service and a fast response to their
complaints (Tong et al., 2020). Very often, online users are provided with different delivery
options as well as with specific information including shipping dates, timeslots, estimated delivery
times, et cetera, prior to checking out and placing their orders. However, prospective customers
may respond in different ways to an online retailer’s customized services. They may either decide
to purchase more products. Alternatively, they could abandon their shopping cart. It they opt to
order their chosen items; they may be informed about their prospective delivery dates. Very often,
they can also trace and track their locations. The online sellers’ inadequate communications and/or
handling of contingent issues including the provision of shipping information, service breakdowns,
delays, lost orders, returns and/or refund requests may lead consumers to switch to competitor e-
commerce websites that deliver on their promises (Santouridis, Trivellas, and Reklitis, 2009;
Bauer et al., 2006; Collier and Bienstock, 2006). Most probably, they will also engage in negative
word-of-mouth publicity with other individuals. This leads to the following hypotheses:
H6: Consumer fulfillment has a positive and significant effect on e-consumer satisfaction.
H7: Consumer fulfillment has a positive and significant effect on e-consumer loyalty.
H7a: Consumer satisfaction mediates the relationship between consumer fulfillment and e-
consumer loyalty.
H8: Consumer fulfillment has a positive and significant effect on e-WOM.
H8a: Consumer satisfaction mediates the relationship between consumer fulfillment and e-WOM.
Figure 2 sheds light on the research model and of the formulated hypotheses.
Figure 2. A research model representing the service quality of online shopping websites
3. Methodology
3.1 Survey administration
The empirical data was collected through an online survey questionnaire that was
disseminated through two popular social media groups. These groups had more than 170,000
members. Their groups’ subscribers were kindly requested to take part in an academic research
that sought to explore their online shopping experiences during COVID-19. The survey
questionnaire complied with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) according
to EU 2016/679
The targeted research participants were reassured that there was no way that they
can identified. They were informed that only aggregate data was being analyzed in this study.
The respondents were expected to indicate the extent of their agreement with the survey’s
measuring items, in a five-point Likert scale. The responses ranged from 1 = “strongly disagree”
to 5 = “strongly agree”, whilst 3 signaled an indecision. In the latter part of the questionnaire, the
participants indicated their gender and age categories. They also revealed their favorite ecommerce
The survey instrument and its items were presented in a such a way to reduce the
plausibility of common method and self-selection biases. It considered the effects of the chosen
participants’ response styles, the proximity of related or unrelated constructs, and the items’
wording were simple and straightforward, according to MacKenzie and Podsakoff’s (2012)
recommendations. The survey questionnaire was pilot tested with a small group of experienced
colleagues, to identify any possible weaknesses.
3.2 The measures
The questionnaire’s measuring items were adapted from different academic sources. They
were drawn from key theoretical underpinnings relating to electronic service quality literature. The
study explored the participants’ perceptions about website attractiveness (3 items), website
functionality (3 items), website security (2 items), consumer fulfillment (3 items), consumer
satisfaction (2 items), consumer loyalty (2 items) and electronic word-of-mouth (2 items). The
measures that were used in this research are illustrated in Table 1.
Table 1. The survey questionnaire’s constructs and their corresponding items
Construct Items
Website Attractiveness WA1 My favorite online shopping website is visually appealing.
(King et al., 2016; Wolfinbarger
and Gilly, 2003).
WA2 I feel comfortable purchasing products through my favorite online
shopping website.
WA3 I enjoy purchasing products through my favorite online shopping
Website Functionality WF1 My favorite online shopping website offers a good selection of
(Kwon and Kim, 2012; Okazaki et
al., 2009).
WF2 My favorite online shopping website provides clear information and
is well organized.
WF3 It is quick and easy to complete a transaction in my favorite online
shopping website.
Website Security SEC1 My favorite online shopping website offers secure online
(Chang et al., 2009; Cho, 2006;
Parasuraman et al., 2005).
SEC2 I feel safe in my transactions when I use my favorite online shopping
Consumer Fulfillment
F1 The products I purchase from my favorite online shopping website
are always delivered on time.
(Bauer et al., 2006; Parasuraman
et al., 2005; Wolfinbarger and
Gilly, 2003; Srinivasan et al.,
F2 The return policies laid out in my favorite online shopping website
are customer-friendly.
F3 My favorite online shopping website takes good care of its
Consumer Satisfaction
SAT1 I am satisfied with the service I receive from my favorite online
shopping website.
(Walsh and Beatty, 2007;
Maxham and Netemeyer, 2002;
SAT2 I am satisfied with the quality of my favorite online shopping
Consumer Loyalty LOY1 I try to use my favorite online shopping website whenever I need to
make a purchase.
(Srinivasan et al., 2002;
Zeithaml, et al., 1996).
LOY2 I will continue purchasing products from my favorite retail website.
WOM1 I recommend shopping through my favorite online shopping
website to anyone who seeks my advice.
(Srinivasan et al., 2002; Zeithaml
et al., 1996).
WOM2 I encourage my friends to do business with my favorite online
shopping website.
3.3 The profile of the survey participants
After two weeks, there were 436 responses to the survey. The electronic questionnaires
were carefully examined and crosschecked to determine if they had incomplete responses. There
were six questionnaires that were not included in the analysis as they had missing values. Hence,
the research sample of this study consisted of 430 valid responses. The frequency table reported
that there were three hundred thirty-five females (n=335) and ninety-five males (n=95) who
participated in this study. The respondents were classified into five age groups (18-28; 29-39; 40-
50; 51-61 and over 62 years of age). Most of the research participants were between 29 and 39
years of age (n=152), followed by those between 40 and 50 years of age (n=97).
4. Data analysis
4.1 The descriptive statistics
Generally, the respondents suggested that they agreed with the survey items as there were
high mean scores above the midpoint (3). The highest scores were reported for SEC1 (M=4.407),
WA2 (M=4.337) and SEC2 (M=4.302). Whilst WOM2 reported the lowest mean score (M=3.756).
The SD indicated that there were small variances in the participants’ responses, thereby indicating
a very narrow spread around the mean. The values of the SD varied from 0.641 (for SAT2) to
0.962 (for LOY1).
4.2 Confirmatory composite analysis
A structural equation modelling partial least squares (SEM-PLS 3.3), confirmatory
composite analysis (CCA) was utilized to evaluate the measurement quality of the proposed
research model (Ringle, Wende and Becker, 2014). Its PLS algorithm revealed the results of the
reflective measurement model (Hair, Howard, Nitzl, 2020). Most of the standardized loadings
reported values that were higher than the recommended threshold of 0.7 (Hair et al., 2020), except
for CF1.
Table 2 sheds light on the outer loadings. It also indicates the results of the reliability and
validity of this model. The CR values were between 0.808 and 0.972. The values of average
variance extracted (AVE) confirmed convergent validity as each construct explained more than 50
per cent of the variance of its items. In other words, the values for AVE were higher than 0.5.
There was evidence of discriminant validity as the square root value of AVE was greater than the
correlation values among the latent variables (Fornell and Larcker, 1981). This study also
examined heterotrait-monotrait (HTMT) ratio of the correlations to re-confirm the presence of
discriminant validity. There was evidence of discriminant validity where the figures were lower
than 0.9 threshold (Henseler, Ringle and Sarstedt, 2015).
Table 2. An assessment of the composite reliability, convergent validity and discriminant validities
Construct Items Outer Loadings
CR AVE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 Consumer Fulfillment
CF1 0.575
0.946 0.659 0.806 0.4 0.663 CF2 0.8 0.647 0.808
CF3 0.898
2 Consumer Loyalty LOY1 0.947 0.868 0.876 0.938
0.56 0.94 0.779 0.552 0.542 0.335 0.782
LOY2 0.933
3 Consumer Satisfaction SAT1 0.908 0.802 0.804 0.91 0.835
0.694 0.653
0.914 0.768 0.895 0.576 0.744
SAT2 0.919
4 Website Attractiveness
WA1 0.835
0.847 0.857 0.907
0.516 0.48 0.638 0.875
0.926 0.697 0.579 WA2 0.904
WA3 0.885
5 Website Functionality
WF1 0.867
0.796 0.796 0.88 0.711
0.591 0.453
0.716 0.763 0.843 0.703 0.494 WF2 0.858
WF3 0.802
6 Website Security SEC1 0.972 0.942 0.942 0.972
0.324 0.303
0.502 0.628 0.609 0.972 0.408
SEC2 0.972
7 Word-of-Mouth WOM1
0.926 0.816 0.82 0.915
0.508 0.665
0.604 0.492 0.401 0.36 0.919
Note: The Fornell-Larcker criterion was used to calculate the discriminant validity. The levels of square root of AVE for each construct were greater than the correlation involving
the other constructs in the same column. The shaded area features the results of Heterotrait-Monotrait Ratio (HTMT).
4.3 Structural model assessment
The results indicated that there were no collinearity issues as the variance inflation factors
(VIFs) were lower than the recommended threshold of 3.3 (Hair et al., 2020). The PLS algorithm
revealed the model’s predictive power, in terms of the coefficient of determination (R
) of the
endogenous latent variables. A bootstrapping procedure was used to explore the statistical
significance and relevance of the path coefficients. It indicated that the relationships’ t-statistic
were well above ±1.96. These values were significant for a two-tailed test at the 5% level (Hair,
Ringle and Sarstedt, 2011). Table 3 reveals the results of the hypotheses of this study. It tabulates
the findings of the standardized beta coefficients (original sample), the confidence intervals, t-
values and the significance values (p). Table 4 summarizes the results of the mediation analysis.
Table 3. Testing of the Hypotheses
Path Coefficient Original Confidence t-
value p Outcome
Sample Intervals
Bias Corrected
e-Satisfaction -> e-Loyalty 0.511 [0.417, 0.609] 10.22
e-Satisfaction -> e-WOM 0.486 [0.393, 0.596] 9.785
Website Attractiveness -> e-Satisfaction 0.117 [0.032, 0.211] 2.536
Website Functionality -> e-Satisfaction 0.323 [0.229, 0.427] 6.261
Website Security -> e-Satisfaction 0.1 [0.013, 0.235] 1.805
Consumer Fulfillment -> e-Satisfaction 0.411 [0.331, 0.492] 9.924
Consumer Fulfillment -> e-Loyalty 0.205 [0.100, 0.311] 3.865
Consumer Fulfillment -> e-WOM 0.171 [0.012, 0.275] 2.7
Note: Critical values are t < 1.96; *** p < 0.01; ** p < 0.05.
Table 4. The mediation analysis
Causal Path
Direct Indirect p Total Confidence t-value p Outcome
Effect Effect 1 Effect Intervals
H7 Consumer Fulfillment -> e-Loyalty 0.205 0.000
7.706 0.000
Consumer Fulfillment -> e-Satisfaction -> e-
0.21 0.000 [0.159,
H7 Consumer Fulfillment -> e-WOM 0.171 0.007
Consumer Fulfillment -> e- Satisfaction -> e-
WOM 0.2 0.000 [0.147,0.263] 6.693 0.000
Note: *** p < 0.001
SmartPLS 3.3 illustrates the results of the PLS algorithm as it features the direct,
indirect and total effects among the constructs. Figure 3 depicts the explanatory power of this
research model. It sheds light on the total effects, outer loadings and on the coefficients of
determination (R squared) values of the constructs.
Figure 3. A graphical illustration of the results
4.3 Results
The findings from this research model revealed that the constructs that were used in this
study predicted 64.1% of e-satisfaction, 44.9% of e-loyalty and 38% of e-WOM.
H1: This study reported that there was a positive and highly significant effect between e-
consumer satisfaction and e-loyalty, where β=0.511, t=10.22, and p<0.001. H2 indicated that e-
satisfaction was also a very significant antecedent of e-WOM, where β=0.486, t=9.785, and
p<0.001. H3 revealed that the websites’ attractiveness was a significant antecedent of e-
satisfaction, where β=0.117, t=2.536, and p<0.05.
H4: The websites’ functionality was a very significant precursor of e-satisfaction, where
β = 0.323, t=6.261 and p<0.001. H5 was not supported. Website security had a negligible effect
on e-satisfaction, as β = 0.1, t=1.805 and p<0.1. H6: There was a very significant relationship
between consumer fulfillment and e-satisfaction, where β = 0.441, t=9.924 and p<0.001. Similarly,
the results from H7 have shown that consumer fulfillment was a very significant antecedent of e-
loyalty, where β=0.205, t=3.865 and p<0.001. H8: The consumer fulfillment was also found to be
a direct antecedent of e-WOM, where β = 0.171, t=2.7 and p<0.05. In addition, the mediation
analysis revealed that e-satisfaction partially mediated the consumer fulfillment -> e-loyalty as
well as consumer fulfillment -> e-WOM causal paths.
5. Discussion and conclusions
5.1 Theoretical implications
This research confirmed that the consumers’ satisfaction with e-commerce websites has a
significant effect on their loyalty as well as on their electronic word-of-mouth publicity. This is an
important finding, considering that there are several shopping websites and online marketplaces
where consumers can find identical or alternative products (Guo et al., 2017; Barrutia et al., 2016;
Anderson and Srinivasan, 2003).
In this case, the respondents suggested that e-commerce websites delivered good value to
them and that they triggered their loyal behaviors. The research participants indicated that they
were satisfied with the quality of the shopping websites and with their electronic services. Other
research also reported similar results. Rodríguez et al. (2020) found that the service quality of
online vendors as well as the consumers’ satisfaction from their electronic shopping experiences
may lead to repeat purchases from e-commerce websites. This study showed that the customers
were intrigued to share their positive or negative experiences with products and/or services with
other online users. Hence, they were willing to cocreate online content for the benefit of
prospective consumers (Devereux and Gallarza, 2019; Kemény, 2016; Hennig-Thurau et al.,
Many customers are increasingly voicing their opinions and recommendations through
qualitative reviews and/or quantitative ratings to support other individuals in their purchase
decisions (Guo et al., 2017; Wu et al., 2015; Huang et al., 2014; Park and Lee, 2009). They may
either encourage or discourage others from shopping from a particular vendor and/or website. This
research confirmed that the online users’ satisfaction levels with the service quality of the e-
commerce website relied on different factors, including website attractiveness, functionality and
security as well as on consumer order fulfillment, during and after a purchase.
The websites’ designs and layouts can capture their visitors’ attention and may possibly
improve the online consumers’ experiences during their purchase transactions. The e-commerce
websites’ appearance and their functionality may entice online users to continue browsing through
their content and to revisit them again, in the future (Tsang et al., 2010). Online users would be
satisfied if the e-commerce websites are informative, useful and easy to use. They utilize shopping
websites to access relevant content on the attributes and features of products, including consumer
reviews (Mellinas and Reino, 2019). Therefore, the technical functionality of these websites’
inventory systems should feature accurate and timely information on the availability of items as
well as on their prices and costs of delivery. In this day and age, they should provide approximate
shipping dates, estimated delivery times, et cetera. The online sellers should also establish clear
information on their returning policies. They may direct online users and past consumers to
frequently answered questions, and/or to chatbots. Alternatively, they may offer webchat facilities
to engage with their valued customers, in real time (Adam et al., 2020; Nordheim et al., 2019).
Although there are many studies that have explored the service quality of e-commerce
websites during a purchase transaction, only a few of them have focused on consumer fulfillment
(and on their after-sales services). The findings from this research reported that timely deliveries,
and the provision of personalized services have a highly significant effect on consumer satisfaction
and loyalty. Nguyen et al. (2018) contended that service providers ought to meet and exceed their
customers’ expectations in different stages of their order fulfilment in online retailing contexts.
The authors contended that online sellers ought to deliver the ordered items as expeditiously as
possible, to improve their service quality. Other authors, including Santos (2003) and Parasuraman
et al. (2005), among others, argued that online retailers should respond to consumer enquiries, in
a timely manner. This way, they can increase consumer satisfaction, minimize complaints and
reduce the likelihood of negative criticism (and damaging e-WOM) in review websites and social
5.2 Implications to practitioners
The outbreak of COVID-19 and its preventative measures have led several businesses and
consumers to change their shopping behaviors. Many individuals have inevitably reduced their
human-to-human interactions in physical service environments and were increasingly relying on
the adoption of digital media and mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets for their
shopping requirements (Camilleri and Falzon, 2020). Consumers as well as businesses are
benefiting of faster connections as the loading speeds of these devices is one of the critical
determining factors as to whether visitors may (or may not) be willing to browse through e-
commerce websites or apps, to proceed to check out, and to lay down their credit cards.
Advances in technological capabilities have improved the consumers’ online shopping
experiences. More businesses are benefiting from the expertise of online marketplaces to deliver
personalized services to their customers. For instance, Amazon provides product recommendations
to its visitors, that are based on their previous searches (Shopify, 2021). Ecommerce giants utilize
machine learning technologies to segment consumers by geographical location, age and gender,
buying habits, total expenditure, and more (Camilleri, 2018). They capture data from online users,
including their browsing and purchase histories. They distinguish between profitable, loyal
customers, price-sensitive customers, and identify those who are likely to abandon their shopping
Prospective consumers will usually compare a wide variety of products and their
corresponding prices, in different virtual marketplaces, before making their purchase decision.
They will probably check out the consumer reviews to confirm the reputation and trustworthiness
of online merchants. At times, they will not be in a position to confirm the legitimacy of certain
websites and to determine if it is safe to disclose their payment details to anonymous vendors. A
few websites may require consumers to join their mailing list. They may expect them to provide
their email addresses, that they may share with third parties. As a result, consumers could receive
unwanted ads and scams in their inboxes. Moreover, they may experience phishing and spoofing.
Therefore, shopping web pages should use SSL certificates to prove that their transactions are safe
and secure. Furthermore, e-commerce websites ought to feature accurate, timely and reliable
content. They have to be as transparent as possible with online users. They should clarify their
terms and conditions as well as their refund policies.
The smallest thing that’s out of place in their e-commerce pages could rapidly erode the
customers’ trust in their products and services. Online users cannot inspect (or try) their chosen
products until they receive them. They may experience delays in the delivery of their shopping
items, particularly, if they get lost, detoured or delivered in the wrong address. Once they receive
the product they ordered, they may decide to return it, if for some reason they are not satisfied by
its quality. In this case, they could (or could not) be reimbursed for incurring shipping and
packaging costs. Shopping websites are increasingly offering synchronous communications
facilities to enhance their personalized services through web chat facilities that enable
instantaneous conversations with online users. This development has significantly improved the
consumers’ perceptions about the service quality of e-commerce websites and their satisfaction
levels. They also increased the chances of their repeat purchases.
In sum, this contribution suggests that online businesses and marketplaces should identify
the critical success factors that are differentiating e-commerce websites from one another. The
most popular online marketplaces are capable of attracting repeat consumers through a consistent
delivery of personalized customer service, thereby increasing their sales potential and growth
5.3 Limitations and future research
This research has used the constructs that were tried and tested in academia to identify
significant antecedents of consumer satisfaction, loyalty and e-WOM. The findings reported that
the websites’ functionality as well as the consumers’ fulfillment during and after the sales
transactions, were the most significant antecedents of consumer satisfaction of e-commerce
website during COVID-19. Therefore, this contribution puts forward research avenues to
academia. In future, researchers can replicate this study to validate this contribution’s conceptual
model, in different contexts.
Other methodologies and sampling frames can be used to capture and analyze the data.
Perhaps, inductive studies may investigate the online users’ in-depth opinions and beliefs on their
shopping experiences. Interpretative studies can reveal important insights on what can be improved
in e-commerce websites’ content and/or in the provision of their online services.
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... Moreover, organizations should focus on fulfilling consumers' orders correctly and deliver the required items as quickly as possible, and thus organizations will be as responsive as possible to consumer inquires within a reasonable timeframe. Furthermore, customer service and after-sale services are considered the key element for achieving more responsive results [74]. ...
... Nowadays, consumers focus more on personalized products/services as well as responding faster to their complaints [25]. Organization should focus on the provision of shipping information, service breakdowns, order delays, return items or refund requests to enhance the responsiveness level of organizations, and thus consumers will not switch to other competitors and will increase their intention to re-purchase from the same organization as they deliver to them the promised product/service [74,88]. Based upon the previous discussion, the following hypothesis could be proposed: ...
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Due to the importance of the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector and the negative implications of COVID-19, which resulted in decreasing resource availability, shortages of supply, declining consumer demand and requirements, and a lack of consumer satisfaction and loyalty, this research investigates the impact of resilience, responsiveness, and quality on customer loyalty in MSMEs. An online questionnaire was conducted on MSMEs’ end consumers in the Egyptian context. The analysis was conducted through Amos and SPSS, and the research hypotheses were tested through covariance-based structural equation modelling for 891 valid questionnaires. The findings exposed that there is a positive significant impact for operational resilience (flexibility and technology adoption), responsiveness (delivery fulfillment and speed and after-sale service), and product/service quality on customer loyalty in terms of behavioral, attitudinal dimensions. It contributes to understanding how MSMEs could enhance their sustainable performance (resilience, responsiveness, quality) to reach better customer loyalty. This research presents insights on how the MSMEs sector can adapt to the dynamic business environment in terms of COVID-19 crisis and consumer behavior, which has changed the nature and needs of the market and consumers. In addition, this research extends the theories of Resource-Based View (RBV), Dynamic Capability View (DCV), and Theory of Consumption Value (TCV) in an empirical contribution through filling the gap in understanding consumers’ needs in terms of resilience, responsiveness, and quality.
... Accordingly, various studies have focused on methods and instruments to evaluate website qualities (Phuong & Dai Trang, 2018;Agrawal et al., 2019;Albelbisi, 2020, Longstreet et al., 2021Abuaddous et al., 2016;Abuaddous et al., 2016;Rocha, 2017). Due to the popularity of online shopping, numerous studies have attempted to define the important factors affecting the quality of marketing websites (Semerádová & Weinlich, 2020;Camilleri, 2021). Further, the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as motivational tools have received attention to enhance performance and promotion of the users in educational systems (Hashmi et al., 2019). ...
... Due to the mission of digital services for the quality of information transfer, the quality of websites has received increased attention in recent studies (Phuong & Dai Trang, 2018;Agrawal et al., 2019;Busalim et al., 2019;Albelbisi, 2020;Longstreet et al., 2021;Qalati et al., 2021). The most of these studies focus on e-commerce and marketing websites (Camilleri, 2021;Semerádová & Weinlich, 2020;Qalati et al., 2021). TPCD is a practice for integration of technology, pedagogy, and content and it appears suitable for any content-based website, e.g., a public government website (Hosseini et al., 2022a). ...
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Research on behavioral factors influencing website quality has resulted in user-centered website design methods. User Experience (UX) research and design are promising in identifying users' needs, requirements, expectations, and desires to enhance their satisfaction with digital products and services. This study employs User Experience Honeycomb to understand the user aspects and utilizes Technological Pedagogical Content (TPC) for a systematic redesign of the content of a user-centered website. The website of Suomen Yrittäjät, the umbrella association of Finnish SME entrepreneurs, is the context of the case study in Finland and the data is collected from immigrant entrepreneurs with the user-experience method. The data is analyzed based on TPC components. The content of website is redesigned based on TPCD assuming immigrants as adult self-learners who learn knowledge and attitudes about entrepreneurship in Finland through the Suomen Yrittäjät website. This learning and knowledge-transfer process are argued to increase their cultural adaptation into the Finnish society. The novelty of TPCD is a pedagogical view on users to learn information, values, and skills through web pages. TPCD is a practical model offering systematic instructions to utilize user-experience methods for designing user-centered websites and other digital services.
... Moreover, consumer intention (Castaldo, et al., 2021;Lebrun, et al., 2021;Kim and Im, 2021;Giroux, et al., 2021), consumer solution and service failures Ozuem, et al., 2021;Bond, et al., 2020), digital marketing, payment, and e-commerce (Santosa, et al., 2021;Vollrath and Villegas, 2021;Camilleri, 2021), brand crisis (Whitler, et al., 2021), brand engagement (Hollebeek, et al., 2020), firm and consumer responses towards circumstances happened during COVID-19 (Ozuem, et al., 2021;Hofmann, et al., 2021;Ding and Li, 2021;Hoang, et al., 2021), marketing innovation (Ding and Li, 2021;Wang, et al.,2020), collaborative consumption (Baek and Oh, 2021), and consumer orientation (Mahmoud, et al., 2020) appeared as additional sub-sub-themes of marketing. ...
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Organizations are struggling with severe circumstances brought by COVID-19. When overly increased uncertainty and complexity in a pandemic are considered, strategic management has gained importance. Thus, researchers have focused on strategic management from different perspectives and this situation has led to that strategic management literature considering COVID-19 incredibly enlarged. Here, this research aims to show the architecture of the current literature and examine it with a holistic and critical perspective provided by using bibliometric analysis and critical systematic review concurrently. 226 articles were determined to represent the literature in two steps: (i) WOS search based on keywords and (ii) eliminating irrelevant articles by reading. To realize research aims, a twofold research method was adopted. By leveraging bibliometric analysis, the map of the current literature was shown. Then, a critical systematic review based on content analysis of 226 articles was carried out. Herein, more/less studied fields and future research directions were shared, and methods & levels of analysis of research were shared.
... Limitations of the results analysis part are the reliability and low R-squared problems; the Cronbach's alpha was 0.690 for all the measurements, but, for each factor, the Cronbach's alpha value was not good enough for each of them; and, for the low R-squared problem, there are even previous studies that encounter the same issue, but the low R-squared problem does lower the explanation power of our measurements regarding satisfaction, so further research should be more cautious about these problems, to explore a better solution to decrease the negative influence on the overall results. One other future research direction could include customer satisfaction of the online booking system of the casino hotels, since a highly functional website could improve customer satisfaction and repurchase intention [83]. Another direction of customer research could focus on their physiological aspects, for instance, how the congruity and social identity of a customer impacts their hotel-selection decision and builds a long-term relationship with a hotel [75]. ...
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Casinos contribute huge sums of tax revenues to local government, and influence the local economy greatly. Customer satisfaction of casino hotels is a key factor that affects overnight customers, when evaluating the casino as a whole. To find out the determinants of customer satisfaction, along with the relationship between the key factors, this study is based on 2897 reviews, focusing on casino hotels in the Busan area, and performs a series analysis. First, text mining techniques are utilized, in order to elucidate which words were mentioned most often in online reviews. Furthermore, the semantic network method as well as factor and regression analysis were conducted. According to the findings, the top 70 ranked keywords are grouped into four clusters: “Entertainment”, “Service”, “Facilities”, and “Atmosphere”. The results of exploratory factor analysis are grouped in five factors: “Location”, “Outdoor Facilities”, ”Indoor Facilities”, “Services”, and “Entertainment”. Within these five factors, “Location” and “Outdoor Facilities” showed significantly positive impact on customer satisfaction, while “Indoor Facilities” and “Entertainment” have a significant negative influence on customer satisfaction. As a result of these findings, theoretical suggestions and practical recommendations have been made, for helping to launch the future marketing strategies of Busan casino hotels.
... At a more global level, the present findings highlight the need for researchers and practitioners in various fields of professional communication, including the customer service industry, to problematize and expose various ethical aspects of communication involving nonnative speakers in the workplace. In an industry where customer preferences often drive business decisions(Camilleri, 2021), how ethical is it to enforce that non-native speaking employees demonstrate evidence of a nativelike accent, given that the construct of accent is linked to various forms of discriminatory and racist behaviors (Lippi-Green, 2012; Ramjattan, 2019)? ...
This study investigated listener-based assessment of the job performance of second language (L2) speakers employed as customer service agents in outsourced foreign-based call centers, focusing on agents’ job performance as a function of the comprehensibility, fluency, and accentedness of their speech. Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform, 116 native English-speaking listeners evaluated two-minute recordings of actual customer service conversations featuring 18 Filipino agents, assessing them for three global speech dimensions (comprehensibility, accentedness, and fluency) and three performance indicators, including agents’ confidence, competence, and listeners’ interest in future communication with agents (a measure capturing customer patronage). Comprehensibility and fluency consistently predicted how the listeners assessed the agents on all job performance scales, and accentedness was additionally associated with how strongly the listeners wished to communicate with the agents. Findings generally highlight the importance of fluent and comprehensible L2 speech in workplace settings.
... This has the potential to cause public uproar. Several researchers have investigated the use of the COVID-19 website, including: Sumaedi et al. (2020), Farmer and Copenhaver (2021), Camilleri (2021), Verma et al. (2021), Ke et al. (2021) and Sumedi et al. (2021). ...
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The objectives of this paper was to explain the effect of the variables trust, PBC, subjective norm, perceived quality, and re-usage intention on attitude and re-usage intention. This study's population consisted of Indonesians who visited the COVID-19 website to learn more about the progress of COVID-19. With the purposive sampling strategy, the sample size was as large as 238 participants. Path Analysis with the SEM-PLS approach was employed as the analytical technique. The findings revealed that trust, subjective norm, and perceived quality all had a positive and significant effect on attitudes when using the COVID-19 website, although PBC had a favorable but small effect. Furthermore, attitude influences intention to use in a positive and significant way.
... In recent years, the service quality concept has been adopted to develop electronic service quality or the quality of services provided through the internet; examples of such concepts include the electronic service quality model (Al-dweeri et al., 2019;Baber, 2019;Camilleri, 2021;Chen, 2021;Kang et al., 2016;Li et al., 2021;Rahayu & Saodin, 2021), modified e-SERVQUAL model (Raza et al., 2020), electronic hedonic service quality model (e-HSQ; Shatnawi, 2019), electronic tail quality model (eTailQ;Ahmad et al., 2017;Al-Adwan & Al-Horani, 2020;Al-dweeri et al., 2019;Jhaveri & Nenavani, 2020), site quality (SITEQUAL) model (Jamie et al., 2021;Olaleye et al., 2018;Pattnaik, 2019), website quality (WebQual) model (Al-dweeri et al., 2019;Candiwan & Cokro, 2021;Longstreet et al., 2021;Olaleye et al., 2018;Singh et al., 2020;Wijaya et al., 2021), electronic service quality (e-SQ) model (Khan et al., 2019;Othman et al., 2020;Rodríguez et al., 2021;Trivedi et al., 2021), eTransQual model (Al-dweeri et al., 2019) and other research on the quality of service provided through the internet (Chen, 2021;Cheng et al., 2021;Foris et al., 2021;Gunasekar et al., 2021;Qalati et al., 2021). Previous studies have examined the quality of electronic services, such as the quality of websites or data (Qalati et al., 2021;Pandjaitan et al., 2021;Le et al., 2020). ...
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The use of information and communications technology (ICT) can improve business competitiveness and provide competitive advantages for organisations—from small to large enterprises. The public sector is even investigating whether cloud-based services can transform its ICT infrastructure to not only reduce costs but also ease maintenance, support and upgradeability. This study aims to analyse the order of important factors influencing cloud adoption and examine the group of causal relationships among the factors influencing cloud adoption in Thailand’s public sector. The data were collected quantitatively through self-administered questionnaires, randomly distributed to 210 sample respondents who had previously used the government cloud service. Then, 16 experts were consulted to determine the degree of direct influence between two factors in the scales of 0 and 4 through a pairwise comparison using purposive sampling. Assurance was identified as the most significant factor, which is also a significant causal factor, and flexibility as the least important one that influence cloud adoption in Thailand’s public sector. Moreover, the key criteria for each factor were identified, and the impact relation maps were obtained. This study contributes to the literature on cloud adoption, provides future research directions and includes suggestions that could help managers and policymakers develop better cloud service platforms for Thailand’s public sector.
... Furthermore, consumers tend to develop long-term relationships with goods/service providers when they perceive that the providers can effectively fulfil orders (Zhang et al., 2011). In line with the aforementioned arguments, Camilleri (2021) has demonstrated the positive effects of order fulfilment on user satisfaction with shopping experience. Thus, we hypothesise that: ...
To stay competitive, retail companies have introduced innovative retailing strategies for enhancing the consumer experience. Among these, omnichannel retailing services are one of the most critical services. However, studies on the loyalty required to secure the market using omnichannel strategies are limited. Instead of arbitrarily selecting key factors for users’ loyalty based on previous research data used by users in social networking services were evaluated in this study, and the validity of the selection of variables was verified through network analysis. A structural equation model based on the results of network analysis and the factors influencing online loyalty and offline loyalty were analysed using the model. Therefore, independent variables except for perceived usability exhibited a positive effect on user satisfaction, and user satisfaction had a positive effect on loyalty. Furthermore, offline user satisfaction exhibited a positive effect on online loyalty, but online user satisfaction did not. Suggestions for future research and corporate strategy were provided.
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This study examines the mediating role of electronic word of mouth (E-WOM) on the relationship between digital marketing activities and intention to buy among Shopee's customers in Thailand. Digital marketing activities comprise content marketing and electronic promotion (E-Promotion). The online questionnaires of four hundred and twenty-five (425) Shopee's customers in Thailand were employed for the quantitative study through convenience sampling. The collected data were analysed using the SPSS Version 27 and PLS-SEM program. The results show that E-Promotion can explain E-WOM better than content marketing. E-WOM is significantly influencing customers' intention to buy. Moreover, E-WOM is a significant mediator between digital marketing activities (content marketing and E-Promotion) and customers' intention to buy via the Shopee platform in Thailand. Digital marketers should consider content marketing and E-Promotion because these factors significantly influence E-WOM and indirectly affect customers' intention to buy via Shopee. The recommendation is to expand more sampling to study other online marketplaces. Therefore, the customers' intention to buy is related to digital marketing and a growing trend in this sector.
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Purpose: The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its preventative social distancing measures have led to a dramatic increase in subscriptions to paid streaming services. Online users are increasingly accessing live broadcasts as well as recorded video content and digital music services through Internet and mobile devices. In this context, this study explores the individuals’ uses and gratifications from online streaming technologies during COVID-19. Design/Methodology/Approach: This research has adapted key measures from the ‘Technology Acceptance Model’ (TAM) and from the ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory’ (UGT) to better understand the individuals’ intentions to use online streaming technologies. A structural equations partial least squares’ (SEM-PLS 3) confirmatory composite approach was used to analyze the gathered data. Findings: The individuals’ perceived usefulness and ease of use of online streaming services were significant antecedents of their intentions to use the mentioned technologies. Moreover, this study suggests that the research participants sought emotional gratifications from online streaming technologies, as they allowed them to distract themselves into a better mood, and to relax in their leisure time. Evidently, they were using them to satisfy their needs for information and entertainment. Research implications: This study contributes to the academic literature by generating new knowledge about the individuals´ perceptions, motivations, and intentions to use online streaming technologies to watch recorded movies, series, and live broadcasts. Practical implications: The findings imply that there is scope for the providers of online streaming services to improve their customer-centric marketing by refining the quality and content of their recorded programs, and through regular interactions with subscribers and personalized recommender systems. Originality/Value: This study integrates the TAM and UGT frameworks to better understand the effects of the users’ perceptions, ritualized and instrumental motivations on their intentions to continue watching movies, series and broadcasts through online streaming technologies, during COVID-19.
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The latest advances in digital technologies have changed the way companies communicate with their stakeholders. This chapter explores the businesses' usage of digital communication channels. It focuses on their utilization of social media for marketing and promotion of products, corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and stakeholder engagement with financial stakeholders. An exploratory study was carried out on a sample of 167 Italian businesses. It investigated the companies' websites and their social media accounts. The findings suggest that the Italian businesses are using various social media networks for corporate communication purposes. This descriptive research shows that they are utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, among others, to communicate commercial information and to promote their business. Moreover, they are using Instagram and Twitter to raise awareness about their CSR initiatives. In conclusion, this chapter implies that marketers need to carefully coordinate the use of different digital tools to ensure that they reach their target audiences in an effective manner.
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Web 2.0 and the social networks have changed how organizations interact with their publics. They enable organizations to engage in symmetric dialogic communications with individuals. Various organizations are increasingly using different social media to enhance their visibility and relationships with their publics. They allow them to disseminate information, to participate, listen and actively engage in online conversations with different stakeholders. Some social networks have become a key instrument for corporate communication. Therefore, this chapter presents a critical review on the organizations' dialogic communications with the publics via social networks. It puts forward a conceptual framework that comprises five key dimensions including 'active presence', 'interactive attitude', 'interactive resources', 'responsiveness' and 'conversation'. This contribution examines each dimension and explains their effect on the organizations' dialogic communication with the publics. Hence, this contribution has resulted in important implications for corporate communication practitioners as well as for academia. Moreover, it opens future research avenues to academia.
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Institutions and organizations are increasingly using the digital media to communicate with stakeholders on a day-to-day basis and during crises situations. Therefore, this chapter presents a bibliographic analysis on digital corporate communication technologies. The grounded theory's inductive approach was used to capture and interpret the findings from Scopus-indexed publications. The articles were scrutinized in their entirety, including their research questions, methodologies and interpretation of the findings. Afterwards, this contribution identifies the opportunities and challenges that emerged during an unprecedented Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In conclusion, it implies that there is scope for institutions and organizations to incorporate digital and social media in their crises' communications and risk management plans. This will enable them to be in a better position to engage in credible and transparent dialogic communications with different stakeholders.
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COVID-19 has radically transformed many aspects of human life and global society both now and for many years to come. A key aspect of the transformation has been increased digitalization and the accelerated implementation of previously predicted trends that have been discussed for many years in the information management literature. Human endeavour has encouraged us to adapt to the “new normal” through immediate necessity in areas such as work, education, healthcare, entertainment and leisure, and online commerce. This new environment has provided unprecedented opportunities for the information management research community to develop research that will have a significant impact on practice in these and other areas. We are essentially at the pinnacle of new developments in the digital space and must seek to develop exemplars that can help to signpost the future direction of digital global society for the benefit of all. Notwithstanding, the problems of digitalization have also been exacerbated and must be further understood and ameliorated in the post-COVID world. This paper examines opportunities and problems in information management brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It details implications for research and practice.
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown and social distancing mandates have disrupted the consumer habits of buying as well as shopping. Consumers are learning to improvise and learn new habits. For example, consumers cannot go to the store, so the store comes to home. While consumers go back to old habits, it is likely that they will be modified by new regulations and procedures in the way consumers shop and buy products and services. New habits will also emerge by technology advances, changing demographics and innovative ways consumers have learned to cope with blurring the work, leisure, and education boundaries.
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Communicating with customers through live chat interfaces has become an increasingly popular means to provide real-time customer service in many e-commerce settings. Today, human chat service agents are frequently replaced by conversational software agents or chatbots, which are systems designed to communicate with human users by means of natural language often based on artificial intelligence (AI). Though cost- and time-saving opportunities triggered a widespread implementation of AI-based chatbots, they still frequently fail to meet customer expectations, potentially resulting in users being less inclined to comply with requests made by the chatbot. Drawing on social response and commitment-consistency theory, we empirically examine through a randomized online experiment how verbal anthropomorphic design cues and the foot-in-the-door technique affect user request compliance. Our results demonstrate that both anthropomorphism as well as the need to stay consistent significantly increase the likelihood that users comply with a chatbot’s request for service feedback. Moreover, the results show that social presence mediates the effect of anthropomorphic design cues on user compliance.
Chatbots are predicted to play a key role in customer service. Users’ trust in such chatbots is critical for their uptake. However, there is a lack of knowledge concerning users’ trust in chatbots. To bridge this knowledge gap, we present a questionnaire study (N = 154) that investigated factors of relevance for trust in customer service chatbots. The study included two parts: an explanatory investigation of the relative importance of factors known to predict trust from the general literature on interactive systems and an exploratory identification of other factors of particular relevance for trust in chatbots. The participants were recruited as part of their dialogue with one of four chatbots for customer service. Based on the findings, we propose an initial model of trust in chatbots for customer service, including chatbot-related factors (perceived expertise and responsiveness), environment-related factors (risk and brand perceptions) and user-related factors (propensity to trust technology). RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS We extend the current knowledge base on natural language interfaces by investigating factors affecting users’ trust in chatbots for customer service. Chatbot-related factors, specifically perceived expertise and responsiveness, are found particularly important to users’ trust in such chatbots, but also environment-related factors such as brand perception and user-related factors such as propensity to trust technology. On the basis of the findings, we propose an initial model of users’ trust chatbots for customer service.
Due to the widespread adoption of revenue management strategies within the hospitality business, pricing has become more and more a central topic both for academics and practitioners. In particular, pricing has evolved towards value-based approaches, dynamic and customized through the use of price differentiation. “Rate fences” are the criteria that hotels adopt to separate customer segments whose service values may differ. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the academic literature as well as the business practices relating to this subject. The authors propose a logical link between rate fences and the hedonic pricing approach. Main topics are 1) rate fence classifications and 2) the effectiveness of rate fences and their impacts on perceptions of fairness. Overall, this contribution suggests that time-based rate fences are fundamental at the destination level, and they are strictly connected to seasonality. Destinations' policymakers and firms can consider strategies and tools for overcoming seasonality, including special events that may take place in a destination.
Brand related goals in the online environment are consistent with those of the retail environment: providing products and services that ultimately convert customers into brand loyal customers. Investigating the components of e-loyalty may be a way to improve it. Using a Spanish sample, this study investigates a nine-dimension, latent variable model to understand the relationship between electronic service quality (e-SQ) and e-satisfaction, as well as that between e-satisfaction and e-loyalty within Spanish fashion brand e-retailers. Results suggest that for fashion e-retailers in Spain, e-service quality is positively related to e-satisfaction and e-satisfaction is positively related to e-loyalty. This work supports the use of this framework in future research to better understand these relationships in other countries.