Service quality in multichannel fashion retailing: an exploratory study.

Ozuem, Wilson (2019) Service quality in multichannel fashion retailing: an exploratory study. Information Technology and People . Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

Purpose
Consumer purchasing behaviour has changed substantially in the light of recent developments in E-commerce. So-called ‘multichannel customers’ tend to switch retail channels during the purchasing process. In order to address changing consumer behaviour, multichannel fashion retailing companies must continue to learn how to provide excellent service to such customers.
The overall aim of this paper, therefore, is to contribute to the interpretation of multichannel service quality by explaining it from the perspective of the so-called ‘multichannel customers’.

Design/Methodology/Approach
Drawing on social influence theory, this paper aims to investigate these issues from the perspective of multichannel customers. In contrast with dualist and objectivist studies this paper uses a constructivist epistemology and ethnographic methodology. Such an approach is associated with an interpretivist ontological worldview, which postulates the existence of ‘multiple realities’. The sample size for this research consisted of 34 in-depth interviews and two focus groups comprising ten focus group participants.

Findings
The data analysis fundamentally found that multichannel customers tended to continually adjust choices regarding retailer and retail channel when making purchases. The perspective of this paper is different from mainstream positivist service quality research which sees service quality as static, objectively measurable and dualistic. As an alternative, this paper acknowledges service quality as a dynamic, subjective and pluralistic phenomenon.

Originality/Value
This paper contributes to the interpretation of multichannel service quality with a new concept that explains the phenomenon from the perspective of customers and thus considers it necessary for multichannel retailers to adopt strategies relating to customers’ changing behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Information Technology and People
Publisher: Emerald
Departments: Business
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 09:15
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2020 21:34
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5310

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