An examination of the online service-profit chain

Grégory Bressolles (Department of Marketing, KEDGE Business School, Talence, France.)
Francois Durrieu (Kedge Business School)
Kenneth R Deans (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 10 August 2015



The purpose of this paper is to study the service-profit chain (SPC) on e-service quality dimensions, online customer value (CV) dimensions, e-satisfaction, and e-loyalty in an e-commerce context.


A total of 2,813 internet customers filled in an online questionnaire after completing a specified task on one of 28 wine web sites from seven countries.


The results highlight the impact of the dimensions of e-service quality (information, aesthetics, ease of use, security/privacy, and reliability) on the dimensions of online CV (functional, economic, and social value) as they affect e-satisfaction, which in turn influences e-loyalty. The results validate the SPC in an e-commerce context and also stress the partial mediating role of the dimensions of online CV between the dimensions of e-service quality and e-satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The sample may not exactly match the customer profile of the web sites analyzed. In order to generalize the results, future research should replicate this study with a customer sample from each web site. Future research could also take into account other variables that may have an influence on the relationships identified. Additionally it would be interesting to replicate the study in other industries and undertake longitudinal studies in one or more industries.

Practical implications

From a managerial point of view, online retailers, especially in the wine sector, can positively affect CV, satisfaction, and loyalty by focussing on information, aesthetics, ease of use, security/privacy, and reliability.


This paper is the first to study the SPC by examining service quality dimensions, CV dimensions, satisfaction, and loyalty in an online context. It extends the knowledge of online retailing by validating the SPC on the dimensions of traditional service concepts, such as service quality and CV. The findings can assist online retailers to better understand the dynamics of online customer relationships and the implications for customer satisfaction and ultimately loyalty.



Grégory Bressolles, Francois Durrieu and Kenneth R Deans (2015) "An examination of the online service-profit chain", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 43 No. 8, pp. 727-751

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