Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Examining Customer Satisfaction at the Point-of-Purchase Phase: A Study on Malaysian E-Consumers

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Examining Customer Satisfaction at the Point-of-Purchase Phase: A Study on Malaysian E-Consumers

Article excerpt


Customer satisfaction is considered the essence of enterprise success, especially in the competitive online business environment. This study aimed to examine how the selected key factors, i.e., general belief, information quality, website design, merchandise attributes, payment transaction, security and privacy, delivery service, and customer service, contribute to overall satisfaction among the customers of small online apparel businesses in Malaysia. This study used a cross-sectional design and complete data was collected from 765 customers who purchased apparel online at the point-of-purchase. The finding reveals that general belief, information quality, website design, payment transaction, security and privacy, delivery service, and customer service have a positive significant effect on overall satisfaction. In order to sustain in the competitive online business environment, small online apparel businesses in Malaysia should therefore focus on operational strategies on the dimensions of service quality, which would lead to an improvement in overall customer satisfaction.

Keywords: customer satisfaction, point-of-purchase, apparel online, e-Consumers, Malaysia

1. Introduction

Given the advancement in information technology, online shopping has become a popular activity. Many marketers are beginning to develop online products for marketing. Until today, the central concern of marketers is still focused on the concepts of satisfaction and loyalty to a merchant's website. Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. In recent years, electronic commerce has entered a platform of exponential growth. In addition, the use of the Internet in the consumer decision-making process has caused traders to make greater use of this tool. While consumer behavior in e-commerce seems to be a complex subject, the consumer expectations are changing, challenging traditional patterns of supply of commercial websites. Satisfaction is a response to a perceived discrepancy between prior expectations and perceived performance after consumption (Eid, 2011; Lau, Kwek, & Tan, 2011). Customer satisfaction is defined by how satisfied one is with the products/services. Thus, satisfaction is extremely important to marketers of products and services. This is because when a customer is satisfied, it will bring him/her to a positive purchase intention such as repurchase, positive word-of-mouth and loyalty in the long term.

Customer satisfaction plays a crucial role in sustaining in the marketplace (Garver & Gagnon, 2002); therefore, it is important to ensure that customers are satisfied. If not, retailers will lose their market. Few studies have been done that focus on uncovering the underlying constructs of customer satisfaction, however, the impact of payment was seldom touched (Xia et al., 2008). Ladhari (2010) found that consumer satisfaction (e-satisfaction) must be concerned with all aspects of issues that arise before, during, and after the delivery of the service. Meanwhile, another research on online customer satisfaction claims that advertisements, product quality, brand names, and prior shopping experiences play a significant role in customer satisfaction among online shoppers (Mumtaz et al., 2011). Earlier studies on service quality measures commonly take into account the entire purchase and even the after-purchase process (Muyllea et al., 2004; Parasuraman et al., 2005; Kim et al., 2006; Bauer et al., 2006). However, lack of empirical research has been done at the point-of-purchase phase and in finding out how this phase affects customer satisfaction. This study therefore proposes that e-service quality dimensions consist of general belief, information quality, merchandise attributes, transaction capability and payment, security and privacy, expected delivery and expected customer service, and thus developed a research model for understanding the perceptions of rational customers at the time of purchase of products through online services. …

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