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Physical distribution service quality in online retailing

Xing, Yuan; Grant, David B.; McKinnon, Alan C.; Fernie, John


Yuan Xing

David B. Grant

Alan C. McKinnon

John Fernie


Purpose - Many traditional retailers use the internet as a complementary business channel while "pure player" retailers only sell products via the internet. The question of who is better at offering electronic physical distribution service quality (e-PDSQ) is open to debate. But, despite e-PDSQ's importance there are few empirical studies and most have focused on general service quality of internet shopping or web site design. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and empirically test a conceptual framework for e-PDSQ from the consumer's perspective. Design/methodology/approach - This paper follows a two-stage paradigm for scale and construct development, which is presented in a framework based on the concept of order fulfilment as a key driver in e-PDSQ. Consumer postal surveys were conducted in Edinburgh, UK. Findings - The consumer survey confirmed the appropriateness of the adopted e-PDSQ framework. The finding that price is the most important online purchasing criteria is in accordance with Verdict which suggests that price is the principle motivator in the home delivery market as the retailing market is getting more price-transparent and consumers are becoming more price-sensitive. Originality/value - Earlier work has provided insight into how e-PDSQ, represented by availability, timeliness and reliability. This paper extends this work and empirically tests and confirms an e-PDSQ framework to investigate differences between multi-channel and pure player retailers, and provides a parsimonious set of e-PDSQ variables and constructs for retailers to use to design and operate their online offerings.


Xing, Y., Grant, D. B., McKinnon, A. C., & Fernie, J. (2010). Physical distribution service quality in online retailing. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, 40(5), 415-432.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 4, 2010
Journal International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Print ISSN 0960-0035
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 5
Pages 415-432
Keywords Electronic commerce; Distribution management; Internet shopping; Customer services
Public URL