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The influence of website service quality on customer satisfaction towards online shopping

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International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 5, Issue 6, September 2019, Pages 7-42


The influence of website service quality on customer satisfaction towards online shopping: The mediating role of confirmation of expectation

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.56.1001
URL:

1 Karl Markos Biswas, 2 Mohammed Nusari, 3 Abhijit Ghosh

1,2,3 Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Lincoln University College, Malaysia

Abstract: Researching customer satisfaction becomes key for organizational competitiveness because satisfied customers become loyal customers. Therefore, it is important to measure customer satisfaction towards online shopping, since satisfied customers will make repetitive purchases and provide recommendations to others, thus generating the profit for a particular e-commerce company. Customer satisfaction towards online shopping can significantly be influenced by website service quality, hence many of the previous studies set up to show the relationship between website service quality and customer satisfaction. But still, limited literature has been focused on the mediating effects of the confirmation of customer expectation on the relationship between website service quality and customer satisfaction. Hence, the aim of this study is to measure customer satisfaction based on the website service quality with confirmation of customer expectation. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed to online customers who are working in the private banks in Bangladesh. Our of 500, a total of 342 questionnaires were used for further analysis, representing a response rate of 68.40%. The hypothesis for direct effect was tested by regression analysis using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The result of the study revealed that website service quality has a significant and positive relationship with confirmation of customers’ expectations and in turn, their satisfaction level towards online shopping. Implications and directions for future research are also highlighted in this present study.

Keywords: Customer satisfaction, Online shopping, an E-commerce company, Website service quality, Bangladesh.

1. Introduction

After years of development of Bangladesh’s online shopping market, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of online shopping websites in Bangladesh. It was published by Shah (2014) in 2014 that approximately 1.5 to 2 million people shopped online every year in Bangladesh. The emerging market for the online sectors was thus growing by 15% to 20%. Moreover, it is estimated by Bangladesh Bank that around 1 million clients accessed mobile banking, and over 100 crore transactions were performed through mobile banking accounts. Apart from this, transactions worth about Tk. 14,700 crore have been annually performed through e-commerce (The Daily Star, 2015). Thus, it is evident that Bangladesh’s online shopping environment is maturing and offers improved services nowadays.

The rapid growth of online shopping in Bangladesh drives research efforts to identify customer satisfaction, which is considered to be the key factor for the measurement of website service quality in Bangladesh, and thus helps to establish whether customer expectations from these online shopping websites are confirmed or not. Previously, many authors have described online shopping customer satisfaction in the context of Bangladesh (Kasem & Shamima, 2014; Rahman, Islam, Esha, Sultana, & Chakravorty, 2018; Hossain, Jamil, & Rahman, 2018; Suhan, 2015). But, only a limited amount of literature has explicitly focused on the effects of website service quality on the confirmation of customers’ expectations and in turn, customer satisfaction. The study describing the effects of confirmation of expectation from website service quality on the determination of customer satisfaction towards online shopping has not been conducted so far. Hence, this current study addressed this issue and examined the mediating effect of the confirmation of the customer expectations on the relationship between website service quality and customer satisfaction towards online shopping in the context of Bangladesh.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Website service quality and customer satisfaction

Online shopping websites represent a structured collection of information about products and services displayed in the form of text, graphics, and videos (Ghaffari and Ashkiki, 2015). The main aim of the online shopping website is to provide information to the customers. Hence, Ghaffari & Ashkiki (2015) mentioned the quality of the information about the products and services that have been provided in the online shopping websites as the important indicators for determining customer satisfaction. Moreover, Hong, Zulkifli, Hamsani, & Shuaib (2017) found a significant relationship between website quality and customer satisfaction. Therefore, low-quality websites can lead to significant customer lost along with the profit reduction of the company. In this way, Kumar & Velmurugan (2017) claimed that websites quality determines customers’ purchasing decisions.

By proceeding with this process, customer satisfaction information can be understood as a relevant indicator of the online shopping website quality (Rasli et al., 2015). When customers feel that website quality is good, they tend to have higher satisfaction whilst shopping online, and on the contrary, if customers evaluate online shopping website has a low quality, they may be dissatisfied. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations to understand how website service quality impacts customers’ feelings and therefore determines customers’ satisfaction level towards online shopping. Several authors mentioned particular website quality indicators such as information quality (Ghaffari & Ashkiki, 2015; Vasić, Kilibarda, & Kaurin, 2019; Ludin & Cheng, 2014), system quality (Lin, Wu, & Chang, 2011; Uzun & Poturak, 2014) and service quality (Wang & Le, 2015; Lin et al., 2011) that affect customer perception and in turn satisfaction level towards online shopping.

Some previous studies examined customer satisfaction by focusing on the website service quality (Augustie, 2014; Pawlasova & Klezl, 2017; Zatalini & Pamungkas, 2017). According to several authors, the electronic service quality can determine how effectively and efficiently a website facilities buying, selling and delivering goods and services to the online shopping customer (Ghaffari and Ashkiki, 2015). According to Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry (1988), service quality is the base for increasing customer satisfaction. According to the previous literature’s evidence, it can be said that website service quality can have a positive effect on customer satisfaction towards online shopping (Lin et al., 2011; Deyalage & Kulathunga, 2019; Guo, Ling, & Liu, 2012). Furthermore, Ghaffari & Ashkiki (2015) discussed that a website could, by meeting the users’ expectations in turn, affect customer satisfaction. Consequently, website service quality may have a significant effect on expectation confirmation. We will discuss this in more detail in the following section.

2.2 Website service quality and confirmation of expectation

A growing body of scholarly work was devoted to examining the relationship between e-service quality and consumer expectations, focusing primarily on online shopping. The concept of electronic service quality is derived from the service quality construct suggested by (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry, 1994). Although there are no acceptable models and definitions of electronic service quality and its measurement, customer expectations confirmation regarding e-service quality was not even well described in the comparison with those of traditional service quality (Zeithaml, 1988). Customer expectations in an online shopping environment differ from those of the physical market. Unlike the service quality of the physical market, which can be measured by examining customer’s general expectations based on a firm’s performance (Nasser et al., 2015). , customer expectation confirmation in the online shopping environment depends on the website service quality, especially with regards to how well does the website represents products and services, supplying the customer with relevant information in order to increase the possibility of a purchase (Nasser et al., 2015). Therefore, customer expectations regarding perceived service quality depend on confirmation or disconfirmation of the perceived service delivery, which consequently leads to the meeting, exceeding, or failure to increase the customer satisfaction (Kim, 2012). Hence, it can be said that confirmation of customer expectations regarding the website service quality can affect customer satisfaction. The next section will discuss this issue.

2.3 Confirmation of expectation and customer satisfaction

Expectation-confirmation theory, suggested by Oliver (1980), indicated that satisfaction could be attained from establishing the level of confirmation or disconfirmation of customer expectations regarding organizations’ products or services. This theory also describes that ‘disconfirmation’ has the strongest direct effect on satisfaction. Confirmation of customer expectation occurs when actual performance meets the expected standard. On the contrary, negative disconfirmation can happen when actual performance fails to meet the expected standard. Consequently, the result of positive disconfirmation indicates if actual performance exceeds the expected standard (Chen et al., 2009). Thus, Chen et al. (2009) investigated the effect of confirmation of customer expectation on customer satisfaction with regards to internet shopping. Similarly, Kim (2012) also identified the relationship between expectation, confirmation, and satisfaction. Hozhabri, Raeesi, Nor, Salimianrizi, & Tayebiniya (2014) additionally explained online shopping customer satisfaction with the confirmation of their expectation testing expectation-confirmation model in the context of Iran. Hence, the previous literature suggests that there exists an important correlation between confirmation of customer expectation and their satisfaction level towards online shopping. This study further develops this idea.

2.4 Conceptual framework

In line with the theoretical evidence from the literature, this paper propagates that the customer satisfaction research framework should include website service quality and confirmation of customer expectation. In this instance, the conceptual framework is depicted by adopting the expectation-confirmation model. Therefore, we aim to investigate customer satisfaction by assessing confirmation of customer expectations from website service quality. The research model can be illustrated as a diagram in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Customer Satisfaction towards Online Shopping

Hypotheses:

H1: Website service quality will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
H2: Website service quality will have a positive impact on the confirmation of expectation.
H3: confirmation of expectation will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
H4: Confirmation of expectation will mediate the relationship between website service quality and customer satisfaction.

3. Methodology

In this study, the quantitative method with a questionnaire survey has been adopted. Primary data was collected from a sample of 342 respondents in the Dhaka city of Bangladesh. The target population for the survey was private bankers in Dhaka city. Using the 5-point Likert scale, responses in the questionnaires (which were distributed among the target population using purposive and snowballing sampling method) were recorded with 1=strongly disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree, and 5=Strongly Agree. Then, the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was applied for the purpose of analyzing primary data collected from the fieldwork. Values such as Cranach’s alpha were determined by analyzing the reliability test. The questionnaire was divided into four sections. Section A included the respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, marital status, household income, and education. The next part consists of three sections: section B (website service quality), section C (Confirmation of expectation), section D (customer satisfaction). The items of these above sections were taken from the previous studies of Lin & Sun (2009); Pawlasova & Klezl (2017); Al-jahwari, Khan, Kalbani, & Khansouri (2018). The research methodology of this present study has been shortly shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Research Methodology

1. Target population Online shopping customers.
2. Sampling frame Private bankers of the selected banks (Prime Bank, City Bank, Brac Bank, and Asian development bank).
3. Sampling technique Judgmental and snowball sampling.
4. Sample size 342
5. Survey location Dhaka city in Bangladesh.
6. Analysis technique Descriptive analysis and regression analysis.

4. Results and discussion

The first part of questions relates to the personal information about the 342 online shopping customers including the respondents’ gender, age, marital status, household income, and education. This is shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Demographic Information

Profile of the Respondents in terms of Gender and Age

Variable Descriptions Frequency Percentage
Gender Male
Female
Total
141
201
342
41.20
58.80
100.00 
Age  25-29 years old
30-34 years old
35-39 years old
40-44 years old
45 years old and above
Total                       
62
87
54
67
72
100
18.10
25.40
15.80
19.60
21.10
100.00

 

Profile of the Respondents (Marital Status, Household Income, and Education)

Variable Descriptions Frequency Percentage
Marital Status Single
Married
Divorcee/widow
Total    
135
156
51
342
49.50
45.60
14.90
100.00
Household Income Less than USD 1000 122 35.70
USD 1001-2000 121 35.40
USD 2001-3000 57 16.70
  USD 3001 and above 42 12.30
Total 100 100.00

 

Education Bachelor’s Degree 79 23.10
Master’s Degree 159 46.50
Doctoral Degree 31 9.10
Other 73 21.30
Total 100 100.00

 

From Table 3, it is noticeable that all the variables (website service quality, confirmation of expectation and customer satisfaction) of composite reliability and Cronbach’s alpha are greater than 0.7 (Nunnally, 1978). Hence, it can be said that all the variables of this study are reliable.

Table 3: Reliability Test of Constructs

Reliability Statistics Cronbach’s Alpha
Website service quality .720
Confirmation of expectation 756
Customer Satisfaction .878

Table 4 shows that overall customer satisfaction and confirmation of expectation with website service quality range in between the mean value of 3.3392 and 3.7339. In relation to website service quality, majority of the respondents agreed and the range is When I shop again, the same shopping website personnel or records would remember my related consumption habits” (mean value 3.6725 that is above 3) and I trust that the shopping website can provide an appropriate service to me” (mean value 3.3392). Pertaining to confirmation of expectation, My experience was better than that I expected while shopping from online stores” scored a mean value of 3.6637 and Overall, most of my expectations from online shopping were confirmed” has a mean value of 3.3392. In the aspect of customer satisfaction towards online shopping, “I am satisfied with the online shopping security system” indicated the mean value of 3.7339 and I feel comfortable in ordering products through online” attained a mean value of 3.4444.

Table 4: Descriptive Analysis

Variables Mean Std. Deviation
Website Service Quality
When I shop again, the same shopping website personnel or records would remember my related consumption habits. 3.6725 1.31462
I am confident in buying products from the shopping website. 3.4561 1.24533
I feel secure in buying products from the shopping website. 3.4123 1.31634
I trust that the shopping website can provide an appropriate service to me. 3.3392 1.28224
Confirmation of Expectation
My experience was better than that I expected while shopping from online stores. 3.6637 1.38946
The benefits provided by online websites were better than what I expected. 3.5409 1.21202
The benefit provided from the online shopping in online stores was better than traditional shopping in physical stores. 3.3596 1.28693
Overall, most of my expectations from online shopping were confirmed. 3.3392 1.27536
Customer Satisfaction
I am happy and prefer online shopping. 3.6345 1.07397
Online shopping is easier and faster. 3.5409 1.04577
I am satisfied with the online shopping security system. 3.7339 1.11348
Online shoppers take care of the timely delivery of the product, assured package quality. 3.4971 1.00073
I feel comfortable ordering products online. 3.4444 1.13650

Result of hypotheses testing

Table 5: Result of hypotheses testing

Directions Hypothesized β value P value Result
Website service quality – customer satisfaction + .213

 

.000 that is < 0.05

 

Supported
Website service quality – confirmation of expectation + .710

 

.000 that is < 0.05

 

supported
Confirmation of expectation – customer satisfaction + .178

 

.001 that is < 0.05

 

Supported
Confirmation of expectation – website service quality and customer satisfaction + .174

 

.021 that is < 0.05

 

Supported

 

5. Conclusion and Future Scope

From the above results, we can conclude that website service quality significantly affects customer satisfaction in the case of online shopping in Bangladesh. This result is consistent with the research conclusion of Lin & Sun (2009) and Augustie (2014) who found that the quality of website services provided by an online store significantly affects customer satisfaction. In addition, from the outcome of this present study, it has been found that confirmation of customer expectation also has a positive effect on customer satisfaction. This finding is consistent with the research conclusion of Sarkar & Khare (2018) and Chen, Huang, Hsu, Tseng, & Lee (2010). Lastly, the current study showed a positive and significant mediating effect of confirmation of customer expectation on the relationship between website service quality and customer satisfaction towards online shopping in the context of Bangladesh.

The future study can be conducted by assessing online shopping customer re-purchase intention because of the confirmation of expectation from the website service quality. The present study was additionally limited to identifying other variables under website quality including system quality and information quality which also influence customer satisfaction. Hence, it is also suggested that other factors affecting website quality may also be taken into consideration in further study.

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