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Toward a conceptualization of personalized services in apparel e-commerce fulfillment
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business. Department of Human Centered Design, GEMTEX, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Industries Textiles, Roubaix, France; College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou, China and Université Lille Nord de France, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8337-251x
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2219-1525
2021 (English)In: Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, ISSN 1560-6074Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Today, customers’ perceived value does not only depend on the products, but also on the services provided by a firm. In e-commerce, it is important to shift the focus beyond the product and discuss the value of personalized services in the context of e-commerce fulfillment. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold: to develop a conceptual framework proposing satisfaction through personalized services as a middle-range theory; and to suggest foundational premises supporting the theoretical framework, which in turn shape middle-range theory within the context of apparel e-commerce fulfillment.

Design/methodology/approach: In this theory-driven paper, the authors apply the scientific circle of enquiry, as it demonstrates the role of theorizing with the help of middle-range theory and empirical evidence and as such provides a methodological scaffolding that connects theory formulation and verification. The authors synthesize literature related to customer perceived value (CPV) and satisfaction, followed by abduction focusing on understanding the empirical domain as it occurred in practice from company cases. The presented case studies are based on semi-structured interviews with three Swedish online retailers within the apparel industry. The theory-driven analysis results in suggestions of foundational premises.

Findings: Based on the theoretical foundations and empirical generalizations, three propositions are suggested. The premises regarding satisfaction through personalized service applied in the domain of apparel e-commerce fulfillment are: to ensure customer satisfaction requires a value co-creation perspective using data during the pre-purchase phase; to ensure customer satisfaction and retention require added-value perspective during the post-purchase phase of the shopping journey; and to ensure satisfaction and convenience require an added-value perspective at the last mile.

Practical implications: The apparel firms lose a substantial amount of revenue because of poor online customer satisfaction, leading to e-commerce not reaching its full potential. To enhance customer value, online retailers need to find a resort in advanced technologies and analytics to address customer satisfaction, and it is suggested that retailers shift their focus beyond the products and find ways to improve personalized service offerings to gain market advantage, improve fulfillment, drive sales and increase CPV.

Originality/value: To consider personalized services as a source for improving e-commerce fulfillment and CPV, the main contribution of this study is conceptual as it presents a theoretical model developed from general theory, middle-range theory and verified with empirical claims.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Holdings Ltd. , 2021.
Keywords [en]
Apparel industry, Customer perceived value, Customer satisfaction, E-commerce fulfillment, Personalized services
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-25984DOI: 10.1108/RJTA-06-2020-0066ISI: 000660515900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85107537955OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-25984DiVA, id: diva2:1579467
Available from: 2021-07-09 Created: 2021-07-09 Last updated: 2021-07-09

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Jain, SheenamSundström, Malin

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