Department Name When Scholarship Produced

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Conceptualizing e-service quality and understanding its performance implications have become an important research topic given the fast development of internet technologies and various business models of e-commerce by means of expanding online marketplaces. There are two common online platforms for e-commerce portals: Corporate companies’ own Web sites (e.g., and that offer the online purchase option as an alternative to the traditional retailing stores; and the third-party (T-P) Web sites (e.g., and that provide the online platforms to facilitate the transactions between buyers and sellers. This paper focuses on the e-commerce platforms that mainly function as third-party intermediaries to facilitate the business transactions on the online marketplaces.

Previous research on the e-commerce platforms mainly touches on the design of the websites itself in terms of easy access, ease of using technology, payment security, etc.; yet when the e-commerce portals serve as an intermediary platform, both the online platform and the participating sellers independent of the web site will jointly influence the transaction process. Consequently, a comprehensive e-service quality evaluation of e-commerce platforms as intermediaries should include both the evaluation of functionality of the web site itself, and the performance assessment of independent sellers that are operating on the web site. As such, the current study tends to investigate the joint impacts of both e-commerce platform and the performance of independent sellers on users’ experience – perceived online transaction value and the ensuing satisfaction.

Prior studies have recognized the importance of e-retailing and developed multiple scales of e-service quality (e.g., Collier and Bienstock, 2006; Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Malhotra, 2005). Those studies emphasize the multi-dimensional nature of evaluating e-commerce platforms and propose a variety of components of e-service quality such as Web site design, security, web site service, easy to use, etc. Those quality dimensions developed in the traditional literatures focused on the corporate website design are believed to be applicable to the context of e-commerce platforms as intermediaries, and are included in the hypotheses tests. Meanwhile, this study also tries to fill the research gap in the third-party website context by including two additional dimensions that investigate the independent sellers’ performance as they operate on the web sites. Specifically, the additional components of e-service quality try to examine independent sellers’ ability to deliver the product as promised (i.e., in time and in proper conditions), and sellers’ willingness to professionally address the online transaction issues in a timely manner.

Specifically, our research question is: what are the combining effects of web site attributes and sellers’ performance on the online transaction experience as measured by the perceived online transaction value and satisfaction?

Conference Name

Appalachian Research in Business Symposium

Included in

E-Commerce Commons