Critical Success Factors in Online Retail—An Application of Quality Function Deployment and Interpretive Structural Modeling
Critical Success Factors in Online Retail –
An Application of Quality Function Deployment
And Interpretive Structural Modeling
Vinod Gupta School of Management
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302, India
The retail infrastructure has witnessed a transformation with the rapid growth of electronic commerce, especially in the last two decades. E-business all over the world has become a popular medium for buyer-seller transaction as a means that complements and supplements the experiences of a physical store. Although the application of technology-based online retail services has grown rapidly in recent years, an understanding to attract, retain, and satisfy customers in such contexts remains limited. A marketer often encounters the difficulty of constituting a framework that could be used for constructing, managing, and evaluating its service delivery through the Internet. Based on a literature review, followed by an empirical study, this paper outlines the results of a study conducted to identify the critical success factors in online retailing. The literature review helped conceptualize the variables for the study. The Quality Function Deployment Technique was applied to identify performance indicators critical to success of online retailing. These were prioritized qualitatively through Interpretive structural modeling. Such an integrated framework of critical success factors would enable a better understanding of customers’ needs and assist marketers while constructing, managing, and evaluating their online marketing strategies in the Indian context.
Keywords: critical success factors, customer satisfaction, quality function deployment, interpretive structural modeling
International Journal of Business and Information
The application of technology-based online retail services has grown rapidly in recent years. There has been a shift from the traditional physical store format to the more sophisticated non-store formats, with online retail sales having just crossed the $100 billion in 2007. Use of electronic means and advanced technology has led to a transformation in businesses today that are moving online. As a means that complements and supplements the experiences of a physical store, the conduct of business online is a business requirement. Sound consumer behavioral research is required to understand the dynamics of what would constitute a success model in such a context.
2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
With a large percentage of the population all over the world accessing the Internet and transacting online [Keen et al., 2002; Xing et al., 2004; McQuitty and Peterrson, 2000], the conduct of business via electronic means is going to grow all over the world [Joines et al., 2003], affording a huge marketing opportunity [Pollack, 1999; Hoffman, 2000].
Bakos  describes an e-market as ―an interorganisational information system that allows the participating buyers and sellers to exchange information about prices and product offerings.‖ Meuter et al.  have defined e-retailing in terms of the Internet market as ―a virtual realm where products and services exist as digital information and can be delivered through information-based channels.‖ We may define online retailing as use of an electronic media through which the customer and the marketer enter into a transaction for sale and purchase, to the benefit both parties.
Today, businesses all over the world are adopting the Internet as a means to sell goods and services. The rapid adoption of the Internet by buyers at large to transact online has been due to advances in technology, consumer characteristics (both demographic and psychographic), and...
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