Brief summary of the theory and progression in the field

Assessment 1: Structured Abstract
This structured abstract review the topic of e-satisfaction of online shoppers through research studies conducted by Szymanski and Hise, Luo et al, Colla and Lapoule and Anderson and Swaminathan.

  1. Brief summary of the theory and progression in the field
    Szymanski and Hise’s study, which conducted in 2000, suggests that the role of online convenience, merchandising, site design and transaction security is most important determinants in consumer e-satisfaction. Authors recognise several variables such as time saving, browsing benefit of online shopping, and offering of rich data and product assortments, fast, uncluttered and easy to navigate sites and perception of financial security can create positive or negative mental perception on e-satisfaction.
    Szymanski and Hise test these hypotheses based on a four-cubed conceptual model by way of illustrating the different combination of above discussed variables. However, in the qualitative phase of the research authors find that a five-factor solution is more appropriate as a variable of merchandising should be categorised into product offerings and product information.
    After the study of Szymanski and Hise, we can see a significant development in the field of e-satisfaction and increased numbers of studies. Among those researches, Luo et al, Colla and Lapoule and Anderson and Swaminathanhave proposed that variables such as role of product uncertainty, retailer visibility, customer service, pricing, adaptation, interactivity, nurturing, commitment are important in e-satisfaction from customer point of view. All three subsequent studies have provided more in-depth analysis through their findings and have tried to look at the theoryfrom different dimensions.
  2. Discussion of Common themes
    Szymanski and Hise suggest that variables such as time and browsing benefits of online shopping are likely to be evident in more positive perceptions of convenience and e-satisfaction. Further, superior product assortments, the wider assortment of products and more extensive information on products lead to a higher level of e-satisfaction. Their study further elaborated that quality of the site design economize on the cognitive effort by consumers expend figuring out how to shop effectively. Finally, customer perception on financial security can have an effect on e-satisfaction levels. Align with Szymanski and Hise’s study all the other three studies also have identifiedsimilar factors which influence the e-satisfaction.
    Study of Luo et alfinds that customer service and pricing have direct effect on customer satisfaction. Further their study indicates that product uncertainty and retailer visibility influence customer satisfaction. Researchers suggest that a well-designed website can help consumers to reduce the mismatch between products purchased and personal tastewhen it comes to site design. Align in other studies Colla and Lapoule also find that, time-saving,
    reducing physical efforts, ability to change the mind and change the chosen goods have direct impact on e-satisfaction. Finally, Anderson and Swaminathan suggest that adaptation, commitment, network, assortment, transaction ease, and engagement of the e-business are all positively related to customer satisfaction.
  3. Discussion of Different themes
    It is unable to point out the different theories in these articles as all four of them investigate the factors influence on e-satisfaction. However, we can see that studies of Luo et al and Colla and Lapoule are looking at the theory from different perspective.The studies of Szymanski and Hise and Anderson and Swaminathan directly investigate the variables which impact on e-satisfaction. Although Anderson and Swaminathan’s model try to address how e-satisfaction, loyalty, trust and inertia depend on tested variables. However, Luo et al and Colla and Lapoule has adapted new dimension to investigate the same theory.
    Luo et al more focus on analysing the product uncertainty and low retailer visibility faced by online customers and its impact on e-satisfaction. Their study shows a more generalizability than other studies as data were collected from real customers based on their real transaction experiences.In contrast to the findings of all the other three studies Lue at al found that website design is insignificant effect on customer satisfaction.
    Study of Colla and Lapoule examinesa unique marketing model called “click and drive” which practice in France. In this model customers shop through online and collect the goods through drive through.This study examines two dimensions, online shopping and the method of delivering goods to customers and howit impact on overall customer satisfaction.
  4. Discussion of Study limitations & how limitations differ across the research designs
    Szymanski and Hise identifylack of researches conducted on e-satisfaction based on cognitive computingas the main limitation. Similarly, Colla and Lapoule faced the same challenge as ‘Click and drive’ model is new to modern marketing concept. Overcome this drawback hypotheses were constructed based on survey method of interview on both studies. Even though,Colla and Lapoule note that research findings are unable to generalisedue to the smaller size of the sample. Authors were prevented to investigate the profitability of these new business models due to lack of available data.
    Luo et al acknowledges that it is desirable to use more online product categories to generalise the results of the study as authors limited their investigation for only two types of products which conducted through quantitative method.
    Anderson and Swaminathan acknowledge that eight variables in the study have not been exhaustive and variables such as ‘nurturing’ and ‘interactivity’ have not been investigated.
    Limitations mentioned through four articles are mostly different to each other, other than time constrain.
  5. Discussion of future research directions (commonalities & difference)
    Szymanski and Hise suggest to carry out further studies to investigate other methods of marketing to find out how online retailing stack up against all competing channels. Similarly, Colla and Lapoule suggest further investigation on integrated multi-channel approach. While Szymanski and Hise suggest for a longitudinal study to examine the validity of the measures, colla and Lapoule suggest for a quantitative study with a larger population. Luo et al encourage performing a study to find out e-satisfaction on service related products. Anderson and Swaminathan proposed to magnify the scope of the research and include other business and customer level variables which is similar to Luo et al to find out the proportion of customer satisfaction and loyalty in e-satisfaction.
    Colla, E & Lapoule, P 2012, ‘E-commerce: exploring the critical success factors’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 40, no.11, pp.842-864.
    Luo, J, Ba, S & Zhang, H 2012, ‘The effectiveness of online shopping characteristics and well-designed websites on satisfaction’, MIS Quarterly, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 1131-1144.
    Anderson, RE, &Swaminathan,S 2011, ‘Customer satisfaction and loyalty in e-markets: a PLS path modelling approach’, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 221-234.
    Szymanski, DM & Hise, RT 2000, ‘e-Satisfaction: an initial examination’, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 309-322.

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