Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

An Empirical Investigation on E-Retailer Agility, Customer Satisfaction, Commitment and Loyalty

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

An Empirical Investigation on E-Retailer Agility, Customer Satisfaction, Commitment and Loyalty

Article excerpt

Introduction

Agility has long been a competitive weapon for manufacturers and subsequently been investigated in multiple perspectives in supply chains. It is a competitive weapon in that it imparts a firm with the capability to satisfy the sudden requirements of its customers in a speedy manner (Gligor and Holcomb 2012, Tse et al. 2016). In other words, agility is, therefore, the capability of a firm to satisfy the dynamic requirements of its customers in a fast pace (Brusset 2016). Recently with the advent of the internet; e-retailers have started marketing products using the internet. Because of this growing internet operations, an e-retailer must also be in a position to quickly satisfy its customer dynamic requirements i.e. an e-retailer must be agile as the same will determine its competitive edge in the market.

An e-retailer website can be considered as an information system. Information systems quality is an important measure of information systems success (IS) success. Several factors have been studied in the literature to investigate information system success. Specifically, information quality and system quality have been given much importance in the literature.

Online consumers are increasingly becoming selective and involved in the information they acquire about various products and brands on the internet (Burton and Khammash 2010, Zahay et al. 2015). Information is an essential part of any website and the quality of information is considered as an important tool in the hands of the marketer, in the context of online shopping (Xu and Koronios 2004, Lukyanenko and Parsons 2015, Heang and Khan 2015, San Vivian and Yazdanifard 2014). Quality is an attribute of a product or a service, which refers to the degree to which it meets customer needs and requirements (Nagel and Cilliers 1990, Dabholkar 2015). Perceived quality is similar to attitude as it indicates the judgment and evaluation that consumers make about product/service quality based on their needs (Zeithaml 1988, Dabholkar 2015). In this study we specifically investigate system quality. System quality is an engineering oriented performance characteristics (rating interface design, functionality, response time, etc.) (Ahn et al. 2007) and has been shown to have a positive impact on perceived ease of use and usefulness of a website (Liao and Cheung 2001, Chung et al. 2015). However, extant literature has not explored the importance of r-retailer's agility in enhancing customer loyalty through satisfaction and commitment. Hence this study aims to contribute in the following ways:

1. What are the influences of information and system quality on e-retailer's agility?

2. What are the influences of e-retailer's agility in enhancing customer satisfaction and commitment?

3. What are the contributions of customer satisfaction, commitment and e-retailer's agility in enhancing customer loyalty?

1. Agility in supply chains and e-retailer's agility

Agility has been investigated in multiple ways and perspectives in supply chain arena. Agility in supply chain context has been gained in importance as a critical and dominant supply chain capability (Gligor and Holcomb 2012). Initially, supply chain agility was explored mostly from a manufacturing standpoint using different perspectives (Goldman 1995, Gligor and Holcomb 2012, Oloruntoba and Kovaics 2015, Brusset 2016).

Later, agility was extended to supply chains and targeted to increase speed and response in the supply chain with respect to the demands of the customers (Swafford et al. 2006) and hence related to the effectiveness of strategic supply chain management (Hult et al. 2007).

Extending the notion of manufacturing agility, Swafford et al. (2008) defined supply chain agility as the ability of supply chains to respond to customer needs in a speedy manner (Tse et al. 2016, Brusset 2016).

Studies have investigated supply chain agility from multiple aspects. …

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