The rapid growth of the solo economy in the Asia-Pacific area indicates an economic transition. In East Asia, solitary households are growing along with low marital rates and birth rates under high economic pressure. Because of these population changes, malls must provide good quality service to meet the specific needs of solitary households and social households. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
In this study, relationships among service quality, customer satisfaction (CS), perceived value, corporate image and customer loyalty were compared between social and solitary customers of Taiwan click-and-mortar malls. The effects of five service quality dimensions on CS and customer loyalty were investigated by structural equation modeling.
The analytical results show that all hypothesized relationships among factors were supported with the exception of the impact of perceived value on satisfaction and the impact of the corporate image on satisfaction. Additionally, the comparison between solitary and social customers showed that service quality, corporate image and customer loyalty have strong relationships without differences between both kinds of customers. Solitary and social customers only differed in the impact of perceived value on loyalty.
The managerial implication of this study is that, to satisfy both social and solitary customers and to increase their loyalty, Click-and-mortar malls (CAM malls) should apply different service quality strategies for social and solitary customers. To satisfy both types of customers, a strategy for increasing visible cares should be applied in social customers, and a strategy for increasing the perception of reliability, assurance and visible cares should be applied in solitary customers. To enhance the loyalty of solitary customers, a CAM mall should enhance the value perceived by solitary customers, which can help CAM malls increase the loyalty of solitary customers in the solo economy.
The solo economy is a hot topic in East Asia because the issue of solo economy impacts the market. A CAM mall must evolve its business to attract solitary customers. However, no studies compared perceived quality, satisfaction, perceived value, corporate image and loyalty between solitary customers and social customers. This study is the first study investigated the business model of CAM malls.
The author would like to thank the National Science Council of the Republic of China, Taiwan, for financially supporting this research under Contract No. MOST 107-2221-E-150-029. Additionally, the author also thanks Ms Ngoc Ly Nguyen for her contribution to data collection.
Liang, C. (2019), "Solo economy in Taiwan: a quality study of click-and-mortar malls", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-05-2018-0188Download as .RIS
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