Prateek Kalia of the Faculty of Economics and Administration (FEA) examines the quality of e-service and customer behavior during online shopping

30 Mar 2021 Ekonomicko-správní fakulta

Dr. Kalia comes from India, specifically from the city of Ludhiana, the most populous city in the state of Punjab. He joined the team of the Department of Business Administration at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, a year ago in February, precisely on St. Valentine's Day. Since 2010, i.e. for almost eleven years, he has been engaged in research on management, e-commerce, e-service quality, and consumer behavior.

Together with his American colleague Dr. Justin Paul, Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Puerto Rico, USA, Dr. Kalia published the findings of his study in the prestigious journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Paper  E-service quality and e-retailers: Attribute-based multi-dimensional scaling by Dr. Kalia and Dr. Paul offers solutions to decision-makers (e.g. creative or strategic directors), as it allows them to understand how and based on what customers differentiate the quality of e-retailers and what areas of e-service quality need to be strengthened.

We congratulate Dr. Kalia on behalf of FEA and offer our readers a summary of the most interesting findings.

According to Dr. Kalia, there is a lack of analysis and understanding of how customers differentiate between various e-retailers while shopping. Therefore, in their study, they compared selected e-retailers based on how they are perceived by customers. In the paper, they worked with a seven-dimension scale of e-service quality (e-SQ), where they monitored the following areas: web use (speed, simplicity), fulfillment by the e-retailer (package delivery dates, product availability), web functionality, protection of personal data, how fast problems are dealt with, handling complaints, and also the availability of the e-retailer in solving problems.

Based on the outcome of the questionnaire survey, they created a comprehensive perceptual map of selected e-retailers, which they further analyzed. As a result, they found out that all seven attributes on the e-SQ quality scale could create significant differentiation among leading e-retailing brands. The authors of the article recommend e-retailers to strengthen the way they deal with complaints because respondents in the survey attached the greatest importance to it.

According to the authors, the most important challenge for e-retailers is to persuade the existing customers to keep buying from them rather than switching to their competitors. Due to the lack of direct interaction with customers, e-retailers must rely on cutting-edge technology to retain their customers and provide quality e-service.

About the authors:

Dr. Prateek Kalia
Dr. Kalia specializes in management and in his research he focuses on e-commerce, e-service quality, and consumer behavior. He previously worked as a director and professor at a leading university in North India and he also holds one copyright on a novel concept in mobile commerce.

Dr. Justin Paul
Dr. Paul is a Full Professor with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Puerto Rico, USA, and a distinguished visiting scholar at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. He also works as an editor in many leading journals.

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