Electronic service quality and customer satisfaction in South African online stores: The role of psychographics on perceptions
Rukuni, Tarisai Fritz
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years, the South African online shopping industry has experienced remarkable growth which has attracted multi-national online stores to operate in the South African market thus creating competitive pressure for domestic online stores. Consequently, this presence of competition from well-resourced and recognisable online store brands it is critical that domestic online stores adopt measures to protect their competitive positions and to pursue competitive advantage. An adoption of a customer-centred approach focused on increasing customer satisfaction is one strategy for online stores to consider. This study had as its primary objective to develop a theoretical model of psychographic influences on customer satisfaction with electronic service quality. The associated objectives were to develop a theoretical model to (i) assess online shopping customers’ perceptions of electronic service quality, (ii) illustrate the effect of electronic service quality on customer satisfaction, (iii) measure the effect of customer satisfaction on customer behavioural intentions, and (iv) determine how customers’ perceptions of electronic service quality differ across different customer psychographic profiles. A quantitative descriptive cross sectional study was conducted to address the research objectives. Data was collected through a questionnaire from a sample of 344 South African online store customers. Statistical descriptive and inferential analyses were performed including mean values, structural equation modelling and analysis of variance. The findings included that, i) customers have negative perceptions of electronic service quality in South African online stores, ii) the constructs of electronic service quality, efficiency and contact, have a significant positive effect on customer satisfaction, iii) customer satisfaction has a significant positive effect on customer behavioural intentions, and iv) a significant difference in the perceptions of electronic service quality was found to exist among customers with different psychological profiles. Based on the study findings it is recommended that South African online stores should improve electronic service quality and apply market segmentation on the basis of customer psychological profiles in order to gain competitive advantage.