Female Customers' Trust on Internet Stores and its Relationships with Service Quality and Loyalty

인터넷 상점에 대한 여성고객의 신뢰와 서비스 품질$\cdot$고객 충성도 간의 관계

  • 민동권 (숙명여자대학교 경영학부)
  • Published : 2005.12.01


Female customers form a major customer group for Internet shopping and their trust on Internet stores seems to be significantly related with their transactions. This paper focuses on female customers' trust on Internet stores, hypothesizing that online service quality has a positive impact on trust and that trust, in turn, together with service quality has a positive effect on loyalty. We investigate trust from three dimensions(benevolence, integrity, and ability) and at the same time, unlike existing research, treat service quality to have five dimensions (intangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy) as known in SERVQUAL(Parasuraman et al., 1988). Survey data is obtained from the female college student sample. Our research model is justified in terms of construct validity, internal consistency, and goodness of fit. Research hypotheses are tested using SEM(Structural Equation Modeling). The results are as follows: First, assurance and empathy dimensions of service quality have significant impacts on benevolence/integrity dimension of trust. Second, out of the five service quality dimensions, only assurance has a positive effect on ability dimension of trust. Third, assurance dimension of service quality and ability dimension of trust are positively related with customer loyalty. The most important factors for female customers' loyalty are found to be assurance(service quality) and ability(trust). The significance of assurance is in line with findings from existing research. But its relationship with the trust dimensions is uncovered in this research, and the only dimension that impacts on ability is assurance. We find that female customers build trust about internet stores based on their ability rather than on their benevolence/integrity and that the female customers' perception on the internet stores' ability can be improved by higher service quality from the aspect of assurance. Importantly enough, these findings offer practical guidelines to Internet stores to boost female customers' loyalty.