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The impact of product variety on LSQ in e-marketplaces

Metehan Feridun Sorkun (Department of Business Administration, Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 29 April 2019

Issue publication date: 30 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the impact of the e-tailers’ product variety decisions on their logistics service quality (LSQ) in B2C e-marketplaces. Furthermore, it investigates the mediation of transaction intensity and the moderation of the perceived technical quality in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from one of Turkey’s biggest e-marketplace firms, N11.com. Consumer evaluations and the e-tailers’ product offers were used to operationalize research variables. Structural equation modeling was used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

Product variety increases the sales of e-tailers but negatively affects their LSQ. This negative effect does not stem from the operational complexity resulting from increased sales; on the contrary, transaction intensity actually suppresses the negative effect of product variety on LSQ. This study additionally reveals that the perceived technical quality weakens the negative impact of product variety on LSQ.

Originality/value

The intense competition in e-marketplaces makes LSQ a key competitive factor, highlighting the importance of revealing its determinants. Although the negative effect of product variety on operational performance has been revealed in manufacturing and physical retailing environments, it has been under-investigated in online retailing. Drawing on a knowledge-based view, this study reveals how product variety decreases LSQ in the online context despite its unique features (i.e. temporal and spatial separation). Moreover, by demonstrating that the delivered product’s instrumental performance affects the perceived LSQ, it reveals that technical quality and functional quality are not disjoint components in online purchases.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author sincerely thanks the editors and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions.

Citation

Sorkun, M.F. (2019), "The impact of product variety on LSQ in e-marketplaces", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 7, pp. 749-766. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-06-2018-0223

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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