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Web design and trust as moderators in the relationship between e-service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty

Jeeva Venkatakrishnan (PG and Research Department of Commerce, Bishop Heber College, Affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India)
Ravikumar Alagiriswamy (PG and Research Department of Commerce, Bishop Heber College, Affiliated to Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India)
Satyanarayana Parayitam (Department of Management and Marketing, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

140

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the effects of e-service quality on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The moderating effects of web design and trust in the relationship between e-service quality and customer satisfaction are also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model involving various dimensions of e-service quality, customer satisfaction, loyalty, price perception and web design is developed, and hypothesized relationships are tested using Hayes’s PROCESS macros. A survey instrument and data from 650 respondents who are regular e-buyers from the southern part of India are used.

Findings

The results indicate that e-service quality positively relates to customer satisfaction and loyalty. The findings also suggest that price perception and trust are vital in enhancing customer satisfaction. Further, the indirect effect of e-service quality on customer loyalty through customer satisfaction is supported. Finally, web design (first moderator) and trust (second moderator) significantly influence the relationship between e-service quality and customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This research underscores the importance of e-service quality, web design, and trust in influencing customer satisfaction. Based on the findings from this study, e-retailers are suggested to discover the methods of building and improving customer trust and create a web design that is appealing to the customer to enhance satisfaction and loyalty. Some of the limitations of this study include common method bias and social desirability bias. However, the authors have taken adequate care to minimize these biases.

Originality/value

This paper used the e-service quality model and investigated the consequences of e-service quality during the post-pandemic new normal period in a developing country (India). The double moderation of web design and trust is a novel idea that previous researchers have not explored to the best of the authors' knowledge and makes a significant contribution to service marketing. In addition to providing resounding evidence of direct relationships, the three-way interaction investigated in this study makes this study unique and pivotal.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Professor Alexander Douglas, the editor and the anonymous reviewers for the constructive suggestions in the earlier versions of the manuscript.

Citation

Venkatakrishnan, J., Alagiriswamy, R. and Parayitam, S. (2023), "Web design and trust as moderators in the relationship between e-service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty", The TQM Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-10-2022-0298

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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