Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Familiarity with Online Retailing

Academic journal article The Journal of Developing Areas

Familiarity with Online Retailing

Article excerpt


The global reach of online market allows buyers and sellers to transact without being imprisoned to geographical constraints. However, current research claims that despite of all the advantages, the customers remain unsatisfied from their online purchase experience. This paper focuses on the role of familiarity with online retailing on product uncertainty and retailer's visibility and its effect on the online customer satisfaction. The data was primarily collected for and The questionnaire was rotated online to customers who had shopped at the two websites. Customer shopping online were asked to rate the questionnaire on 5 point likert scale. The constructs for Familiarity with online retailing, Logistical support, Product uncertainty, Retailers visibility, Website design, Pricing, Customer service and Online customer satisfaction was included in the questionnaires. A scale of 5 was used where 1 represented strongly agree and 5 was strongly disagree. The analysis of the data includes presentation of the results that were gathered during the research, first general profile of the sample is presented and the measurement model is examined using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). After the establishment of the validity and reliability of the measures used, the examination of the structural model is performed. The paper supports the argument that familiarity with online retailing reduces the effect of product uncertainty and retailer's visibility on customer satisfaction. The effects of website design, pricing, and customer service on online customer satisfaction were also incorporated in the model. Additionally, a new dimension of logistical support was also studied to effect satisfaction. The results of this study suggest that more and more people are shifting towards online purchasing. Online customer satisfaction is enhanced when the retailer is more visible to the customer and also when the retailer's website is more users friendly and carries a lot more information that is required for the customers. The results also suggest that when logistical service is provided to the customers their satisfaction is increased. Quick and efficient delivery system, timely and customer oriented delivery system can enhance the online satisfaction of the customers. The study has implications for managers to understand the online motivations a consumer has while making a purchase.

JEL Classifications: M13, M310, C38

Keywords: Logistic Support, Familiarity, Product Uncertainty, Website Design, Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction


Electronic commerce has grown rapidly in recent past. As compared to the traditional setting, online retailing is still in its beginning. Online markets can improve consumer well-being with greater product, lower prices, variety in selection, and higher efficiency compared to traditional markets (Ghose, Smith, and Telang, 2006), by leveraging the power of the Internet. Amidst many, a major advantage pertains to mitigating the restrictions and constrains of geographical distances between buyer and sellers. However, since internet is a new medium for carrying out a business many problems are associated with it. Zemke & Connellan, (2001) report that for every four purchases made through the Internet, at least one falls out in some kind of dissatisfaction. A probable explanation of the challenges associated with online retailing may be that the internet shopping is a low impact service (Lovelock Wirtz, 2010). The lack of face to face interactions with the retailer as well as the unpredictability of a product's quality raises the problems of product uncertainty. In a traditional market a consumer can evaluate the quality of a product they purchase by touching, seeing and feeling, but these sensory elements are absent in the case of online purchase. The increasingly crowded online space also raises the issue of retailer visibility. The customers find it ever more difficult to locate their specific retailer. …

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