Measuring customers’ perception of omnichannel retail quality and assessing its impact on customer engagement

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

In two essays, this thesis addresses the critical need for understanding and measuring the customer experience in an omnichannel retail environment, and whether it results in stronger retail performance such as higher customer engagement (Verhoef et al., 2015; Lemon et al., 2016; MSI, 2016, 2018; Kumar et al., 2019). Each essay presents an introduction, specific research questions, theoretical development, methodology, results, contributions, future research directions, and appendices; where the outcome of Essay 1 leads to Essay 2. In Essay 1, drawing on schema theory and categorization theory, this thesis conceptualizes how customers assess their omnichannel retail experiences. This study further draws upon means-end-chain theory as the basis for explaining the nature of the perceived omnichannel retail quality (PORQ) construct and its measurement model specification. Through qualitative and quantitative studies in four separate phases, a measurement model was developed with 36-items in nine first-order quality dimensions that form the second-order overall quality construct of PORQ. The first-order quality dimensions are assortment, channel consistency, customer safety, customer service, delivery, loyalty rewards, personalization, product returns, and social reputation. The measurement model demonstrates excellent psychometric properties based on findings from a variety of reliability and validity tests using multiple datasets. In Essay 2, the study conceptualizes a framework for omnichannel retail customer engagement (ORCE) that draws on attitudinal theory to advance extant literature on customer perceived quality, customer experience and customer engagement (CE). Using survey data from 822 U.S. omnichannel retail customers, this study empirically validates the critical role customers’ overall perceived omnichannel retail quality (PORQ) plays in driving CE Intentions. The results reveal significant asymmetries, as well as linearity, in the relationships between PORQ and certain elements of CE Intentions. The results also demonstrate that a customer’s stage in the customer-retailer relationship life cycle has an important moderating role, revealing that, in the maturity stage, PORQ’s influence on customer’s lifetime value contributions (CLV) to an omnichannel retailer can be weaker than in the relationship buildup stages. The findings suggest that omnichannel retail managers should not become complacent when customers’ assessment of PORQ is high. For higher CE Intentions, this study reveals that omnichannel retailers should regularly assess PORQ and invest in opportunities related to its dimensions that are likely to generate a very high assessment of PORQ. Overall, the PORQ measurement model offers precise and actionable measures for profit-driven retailers to capture unique insights into customer perceptions of omnichannel retail quality performance. Such understanding can help omnichannel retail managers diagnose and identify problem areas in their omnichannel customer experience and concentrate resources on improving PORQ, and higher CE Intentions as an outcome. In future studies, researchers can use the PORQ measurement model, CE Intentions measurement model, and the methodological framework developed in this thesis, to explore the role of customer perceptions of quality in various omnichannel contexts to better manage customer relationships.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Newcastle
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Carlson, Jamie, Supervisor, External person
  • Gudergan, Siegfried, Supervisor, External person
  • Wetzels, Martin, Supervisor, External person
Award date13 Dec 2019
Publication statusUnpublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Customer experience
  • Customer Engagement
  • Omnichannel
  • Scale development
  • Quality

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring customers’ perception of omnichannel retail quality and assessing its impact on customer engagement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this