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Seller experience assessment in online marketplace: a scale development study

Amresh Kumar ( Indian Institute of Management (IIM) , Bodh Gaya, India)
Pallab Sikdar ( Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management (BULMIM) , New Delhi, India)
Raiswa Saha ( SRM University, Haryana Campus , Sonepat, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 4 February 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Recent decade has witnessed exponential growth in e-commerce segment, leading to emergence of various online selling platforms catering to diverse product requirements of customers. Such a development has provided impetus to both existing businesses and newly established ventures to make available their offerings through online selling platforms with a view to improve the reach of their products. This study is an attempt to identify the experience of registered vendors with the online marketplaces. It aims to develop and validate a scale to measure vendor's experience with e-commerce platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

As a part of the scale development process, relevant literature sources were scanned to spot the precise knowledge gap and to put in place a sound theoretical background for the study. Thereafter, a scientific approach was adopted for scale creation. First, the scale items were identified through interviews of vendors registered with major online selling platforms and other academic experts pertaining to the marketing domain. Subsequently, major dimensions of seller experience were identified through exploratory factor analysis (EFA) applied on data collected from active vendors by the means of a structured survey instrument. The final data set was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in a bid to validate the scale.

Findings

The study’s outcomes reveal that seller experience in an online marketplace can be best captured by a multidimensional scale characterized by six major dimensions. These are “Registration,”; “Product Listing”; “Pricing Autonomy”; “Ease of Pick-up and Delivery”; “Credit of Receivables” and “Vendor Assistance.” A proper emphasis to continually improve upon these dimensions by the e-commerce platforms is expected to enhance the utility and overall experience of vendors from such platforms. Existence of a mutually beneficial relationship between vendors and online marketplaces will help marketplaces to mitigate concerns like nonfulfillment of orders and dispatch of substandard products.

Originality/value

Sustainable long-term relations between vendors and online marketplaces hold the key for such marketplaces to render error-free and delightful service on each individual order received. Seller experience of registering and operating on such e-marketplaces inspite of playing a defining role in vendor–marketplace relations has received scant attention of researchers, both in academia and industry till date. The present research is a seminal attempt to address this gap in marketing literature and offer additional know-how.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the registered vendors of Amazon (India) and Flipkart for sharing their direct experiences with these online marketplaces which formed the foundation of this research. The authors express their gratitude to Editor-in-Chief (BIJ), Associate Editor (BIJ) and the anonymous Reviewers whose constructive and insightful comments went a long way toward improving the quality of this research paper.

Citation

Kumar, A., Sikdar, P. and Saha, R. (2021), "Seller experience assessment in online marketplace: a scale development study", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 2315-2342. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-06-2020-0305

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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