Effects of perceived merchandise quality and service quality on consumer shopping behavior in the Internet apparel retailing environment
The purpose of this study was to investigate the structural relationships among perceived quality, sacrifices, and risks of product and service as antecedents of the value of Internet apparel shopping, as well as satisfaction and behavioral outcomes as consequences of the value of Internet apparel shopping. To examine the relationships among these variables, the quality-value-satisfaction model (Cronin, Brady, & Hult, 2000) was adopted and expanded.;This study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the phenomenon of Internet apparel shopping. For scale and treatment stimuli development, two focus interviews were conducted using female college-aged consumers. For the model testing, an experimental design with two treatment levels of service quality was employed. Two mock Internet apparel retail sites were created. Pretest and manipulation checks of the two treatments were conducted. At two large Midwestern universities, 361 female students provided usable responses.;The results of a series of confirmatory factor analyses revealed that three scales---perceived apparel quality, perceived Internet retailer's service quality, and perceived value of Internet apparel shopping---had three correlated factor structures with moderate to very good model fit indices and good reliability measures. However, these scales contained some niches for improvements through scale refinements.;The findings from causal model analyses showed that four proposed models had moderate to very good model fit indices. The results of causal model analyses showed that perceived apparel quality, Internet retailer's service quality, service sacrifice, and service risk were significant determinants of the perceived value of Internet apparel shopping. In addition, perceived value was an influential factor affecting consumer satisfaction and future behavioral outcomes. Internet apparel retailers, that offer high quality apparel merchandise as well as high quality customer service, create high level of consumer value of Internet apparel shopping and, in turn, increase satisfaction with Internet shopping and consumer intentions to revisit, search, purchase, say positive things, and recommend the site.