رضایت مشتری با اجرای سفارش در زنجیره تامین خرده فروشی: مفاهیم نوع محصول در معاملات الکترونیکی B2C
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2446||2005||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7270 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 23, Issues 3–4, April 2005, Pages 291–303
This paper focuses on the proverbial “last mile” of the retail supply chain – i.e., delivering products to the end-customer – and highlights the need for recognizing product type differences in configuring order fulfillment processes in electronic business-to-customer (B2C) transactions. The following two questions serve as the motivation for the study: Do customer expectations of order fulfillment processes vary across product types? Should the product type matter in configuring order fulfillment processes? From the studies in the marketing literature, we infer that customer satisfaction assessments are based on customer expectations of order fulfillment processes, and that these expectations systematically vary across the three product types: convenience goods (e.g., groceries, home and office supplies), shopping goods (e.g., ready-to-wear men, women, and kids’ apparel), and specialty goods (e.g., desktop and notebook computers, and wedding dresses). In particular, we posit that ceteris paribus, customer satisfaction with order fulfillment will decrease moving along a continuum of product types, from convenience goods to specialty goods. The empirical analysis for this study is based on data collected on dimensions of customer satisfaction with order fulfillment from a sample of 256 firms engaged in electronic B2C transactions. Firms included in our study sample are such that their products can be classified into only one of three product types: convenience, shopping, or specialty goods. In essence, each firm in the study sample is a proxy for one of three product types. The results of the empirical analysis indicate that, on average, customers tend to have higher satisfaction levels with the order fulfillment process of convenience and shopping goods than with the order fulfillment process of specialty goods. We discuss the managerial implications of our results, contributions of the paper to the literature, limitations, and directions for future research.
It is now well recognized that the effectiveness with which firms are able to fulfill orders in their electronic business-to-customer (B2C) transactions is a significant determinant of customer satisfaction and retention (Shenton, 2002, Newton, 2000 and Pastore, 1999). According to (Ricker and Kalakota, 1999, p. 60), “Good fulfillment – taking the right product, putting it in the right box, shipping it, and gaining the customer's approval – is a demanding task, and it is here – in the down-and-dirty details of consumer direct order fulfillment – that the epic battles for domination of the e-commerce marketplace will ultimately be won or lost.” In a similar vein (Lee and Whang, 2001, p. 54) suggest that “the ability to fulfill and deliver orders on time could determine an e-tailer's success.” The significance of order fulfillment in delivering e-service quality is documented in Zeithaml et al. (2002). More specifically, in an empirical study of electronic B2C operations of food retailers, Heim and Sinha (2001) found that variables underlying the order fulfillment process – such as ease of return, product availability and timeliness of delivery – have a significant positive association with customer loyalty.2 Echoing the findings of Heim and Sinha (2001) study, Newton (2001, p. 24) observes: “It is the successful transfer of physical products between merchant and the customer that ultimately determines whether the customer will place another order.” Order fulfillment in electronic B2C transactions is a “complex, multi-faceted process that will continue to strain the growth of e-commerce in the United States and abroad” (Peters, 2000, p. 64). Pyke et al. (2001, p. 27) posit that “order fulfillment involves all of the activities from the point of a customer's purchase decision until the product is delivered to the customer and he or she is fully satisfied with its quality and functionality.” Customer satisfaction with the order fulfillment process depends on the extent to which the expectations of customers are met by the firms. There is consensus in the service quality and customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction (CS/D) literature that “expectations serve as standards with which subsequent experiences are compared, resulting in evaluations of satisfaction or quality” (Zeithaml and Berry, 1993, p. 1) and that “understanding customer expectations is a prerequisite for delivering superior service quality” (Parasuraman et al., 1991, p. 39). In a similar vein, Garvin (1988) suggests that incorporating customer needs and wants is fundamental to the strategic management of quality. According to Peters (2000, p. 66), “Customer expectations must be integrated into the creation of any e-fulfillment strategy.” This study represents a first step in that direction. Specifically, our study is motivated by the following questions: Do customer expectations of order fulfillment processes vary across product types? Should the product type matter in configuring order fulfillment processes? Reviewing the literature relevant to our research questions suggests a linkage between product type and supply chain design. For example, Fisher (1997) classifies products on the basis of their demand patterns and matches them with the physically efficient and market-responsive supply chains. Lamming et al. (2000) identify two distinct types of supply networks: those for “innovative-unique” products and those for “functional-products.” Randall and Ulrich (2001) analyze differences across products at the product attribute level and note that product attributes underlying product variety influence the production and market-mediation costs. Further, they posit that firm performance is a function of the coherent alignment between product variety and supply chain structure. Childerhouse et al. (2002) adopt the DWV3 (duration of life cycle, time window for delivery, volume, variety, and variability) characterization of products and develop focused demand chain approaches for product categories. The key question motivating the aforementioned set of studies is how supply chains can be designed to effectively and efficiently meet the demands placed by different product types. However, the focus of supply chain design in these studies is on delivering products onto the store shelves. Our research complements this body of literature in that it focuses on the proverbial “last mile” of the retail supply chain—i.e., delivering products to the end-customer. Another stream of literature that is relevant to our study is that on logistics service quality. For example, Mentzer et al. (2001) develop nine related logistics service quality constructs and establish their reliability and validity across four customer segments: textiles, construction, electronics, and general. They suggest that across different customer segments, customers value different aspects of logistics service quality. According to Mentzer et al. (2001, p. 97), “if results from their [managers] customer segments reveal similar relative emphases, logistics services can be designed to address all these segments similarly, enabling suppliers to take advantage of scale efficiencies. If, conversely, results from supplier's customer segments reveal marked differences in the components of logistics service quality that customers value, suppliers ought to customize their services to cater to specific customer segment desires.” Further, Mentzer et al. (2001, p. 95–96) suggest the need to conduct further research to corroborate their findings and understand why customer value varies across customer segments. By linking customer expectations of order fulfillment with product types, both conceptually and empirically, our study is a step towards addressing this need. Specifically, we underscore the significance of developing a customized approach to order fulfillment across product types in electronic B2C transactions of a firm. We draw on the well-known Copeland's (1924) product classification scheme from the marketing literature to group firms into three categories. The three categories are firms whose products can be classified either into (i) “convenience goods” (e.g., groceries, home and office supplies), (ii) “shopping goods” (e.g., ready-to-wear men, women, and kids’ apparel), or (iii) “specialty goods” (e.g., desktop and notebook computers, and wedding dresses). Building on the literature on customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction and customer expectations, we contend that there will be a systematic variation in the customer expectations of order fulfillment across the three product types. Specifically, we posit that ceteris paribus, customer satisfaction with order fulfillment will decrease moving along a continuum of product types, from convenience goods to specialty goods. The empirical analysis for this study is based on data collected from 256 firms engaged in electronic B2C transactions. The data set for the study was assembled during the later half of 2002. Analysis of data from firms in the study sample indicates that customers tend to have higher satisfaction levels with the order fulfillment process of convenience and shopping goods than with the order fulfillment process of specialty goods. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 contains a discussion on the conceptual foundation of this study. Section 3 presents the research design, the empirical analysis, and the results. Section 4 is a discussion on the implications of the study results and the limitations of the study. Section 5 contains our concluding remarks on the study's contributions and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main finding of this paper is that for customers to be satisfied with order fulfillment in electronic B2C transactions, the product type matters! With this finding, the paper makes three-fold contribution towards advancing the extant literature. First, while there have been studies in the past that have shown that order fulfillment in electronic B2C transactions is a critical determinant of customer satisfaction and loyalty, this paper sheds light on how customer expectations of order fulfillment varies systematically across product types. Second, the paper complements studies that have linked product type with supply chain design by highlighting issues pertaining to order fulfillment of different product types that should be taken into consideration in customizing the last mile of the retail supply chain to ensure a satisfied end-customer. Third, while there have been studies classifying product types, this paper demonstrates the significance of recognizing the differences across product types in developing order fulfillment strategies to meet customer demand for different product types such that the end-customer is satisfied. As logical extensions of this paper there are at least three directions for future research. First, given the exploratory nature of this study, replication of this study is naturally warranted to further refine and corroborate the study findings. Another direction for future research would be to investigate order fulfillment strategies pertaining to digital products. As Johnson and Whang (2002) point out, the advent of e-Commerce has had a profound impact on the supply chains of digital products that now form a significant part of electronic B2C transactions. Research in this area would nicely complement the present study focused on order fulfillment strategy of physical products. The third direction for future research would be to investigate into the role of technologies in enabling order fulfillment processes to account for the differences in customer expectations across product types.