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The effects of digital platforms on customers’ satisfaction in international shipping business

Hui Shan Loh (School of Business, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)
Jia Le Lee (School of Business, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)
Yimiao Gu (Department of Electronic Business, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Helen Shanyin Chen (Centre for Continuing and Professional Education, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)
Huay Ling Tay (Centre for Continuing and Professional Education, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)

Review of International Business and Strategy

ISSN: 2059-6014

Article publication date: 19 January 2024

Issue publication date: 20 March 2024

221

Abstract

Purpose

The introduction of digitalisation in the shipping industry has fundamentally transformed traditional business models. This necessitates an investigation of its impact on customer satisfaction. This study aims to adapt the technology acceptance model in its survey instrument design to understand and evaluate customer satisfaction of shipping lines’ digital platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a mixed-methods approach, incorporating quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Primary data were collected through an online survey designed to measure customer satisfaction in relation to the digitalisation initiatives implemented by the shipping lines. Survey respondents comprised professionals who were online platform users, particularly in the instant spot quotation process and blockchain bill of lading.

Findings

The results for both instant spot quotation process and blockchain bill of lading revealed digital trust to be the most influential determinant of customer satisfaction, followed by perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. There was also a very strong correlation between perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness as well as between digital trust and perceived ease of use. The managerial implications of digitalisation are also discussed.

Originality/value

The adoption of digital tools is gaining traction in the container shipping sector, and there exists a need to investigate the correlation between digitalisation and customer satisfaction. This study offers significant insights to stakeholders in the shipping industry, particularly in designing and implementing user-friendly digital platforms.

Keywords

Citation

Loh, H.S., Lee, J.L., Gu, Y., Chen, H.S. and Tay, H.L. (2024), "The effects of digital platforms on customers’ satisfaction in international shipping business", Review of International Business and Strategy, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 231-244. https://doi.org/10.1108/RIBS-07-2023-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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