There is a growing trend in online shopping in developing and underdeveloped economies. Measuring web retail service quality is vital to enhance and retain online customers for higher profits. As a result, it is essential to understand e-service quality and its relationship with other e-commerce-related variables identified as customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth (WOM), loyalty and repurchase intention. The main objective of this research is to validate the psychometric properties of E-TailQ and ES-Qual scales to measure e-service quality in the context of an emerging economy.
The study was administered by surveying online customers through a convenience sampling approach. The sample data consisted of 329 valid responses. The data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM).
The results suggest that both the scales are valid, reliable and adequate and confirm the psychometric properties of E-TailQ and ES-Qual scales in an emerging economy context. There is a positive and significant relationship between latent variables (E-TailQ and ES-Qual) and customer outcome variables like satisfaction, loyalty, WOM and repurchase intention. Additionally, the coefficients of the E-TailQ scale have higher values than ES-Qual scales in all dimensions. The perceived quality proved to be a precedent of satisfaction to a lesser extent than other scales' constructs, and it proved to be a superior predictor of WOM for the E-TailQ scale and loyalty for the ES-Qual scale. Overall, when measured by the ES-Qual scale, perceived quality could explain much of the sample's satisfaction, loyalty and repurchase intention compared to E-TailQ.
One of the significant limitations of this study is related to the data collection, as individual responses were collected at one particular point in time. Thus, it is impossible to verify the development of perceived service quality outcomes over a specific time. Another possible limitation is the selection of only two widely used scales, although other options are available in the literature. Finally, developing a new scale to address future challenges might be another alternative.
The results obtained in the study will help managers assess customer satisfaction, the reputation of the business through WOM, and customer intentions for the repurchase that will lead to loyalty by emphasizing e-service quality. It will enable them to design strategies for improving business performance. The developed instrument will assist in identifying the gaps and describing how service quality can achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Several studies in the literature have used E-TailQ and ES-Qual scales to measure e-service quality in developed countries. Only a few studies addressed the validity of these widely used competing scales in an emerging economy like Pakistan. This study addresses the literature gap by addressing the reliability and validity of these scales and assesses the impact of e-commerce-related variables. Besides, the study reveals insights into the literature by addressing multiple dimensions of e-service quality and summarizes a deep understanding of each scale item that affects the perceived quality in a developing economy like Pakistan.
Zia, S., Rafique, R., Rehman, H.-U. and Chudhery, M.A.Z. (2022), "A comparison between E-TailQ and ES-Qual for measuring e-service quality in the retail industry: an emerging economy case", The TQM Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-02-2022-0052
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