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Title: The impact of perceived return policy and website quality on e-customers 'apparel purchase- and return behavior
Authors: Coolwijk van, VJ
Keywords: E-commerce
return policy
website quality
customer satisfaction
e-customer behavior
Issue Date: 16-Dec-2014
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: The development of e-commerce has caused an important change in the flows of goods. A lot of products are bought by means of electronic Business-to-Customer (B2C) transactions, nowadays. To and fro driving vans, delivering products to the end consumer or transporting returns are conquering the city; the consequences are an increased burdening of the logistic web and the environment. The control of the enormous amount of traffic in the cities is really becoming a serious problem. Besides, the costs of dealing with returns are disproportionate compared to forward logistics. An important part of the transport movements is caused by apparel returns and the amount of returns is still increasing. To deploy appropriate avoidance techniques, which can be utilized to decrease the amount of apparel returns, it is important to understand e-customers’ behavior. The main purpose of this investigation is to clarify if and how perceived return policy and perceived quality of information and customer support on websites in apparel e-commerce affect customers’ purchase and return behavior. E-retailers should know on which aspects of return policy e-customers set great store and which aspects of provided information and support on websites e-customers value most. This knowledge can help managers to develop and manage the most effective apparel return policy and website quality, in order to stimulate consumer demand, to increase sales and to reduce returns. The most feasible method of investigation here is doing a survey on consumers. A convenient sample of college students is requested to complete a questionnaire that contained measures of e-customers’ awareness of return policy, customers’ valuation of quality of information on websites, customers’ satisfaction, customers’ willingness to buy online and product return frequency. The students are an appropriate sample because they are likely to have had experiences with the Internet and are likely to vary widely in their e-purchase and e-return experiences. The most important empirical findings are that return policy has no influence on return behavior and return policy only affects purchase behavior of men. Purchase behavior of men and woman both predict their return behavior. Increased satisfaction and website quality don’t reduce, but increase apparel returns. Thus, purchase behavior, website quality and customers’ satisfaction all seem to have impact on apparel return behavior. The practical implication for managers of online shops therefore is the necessity of keeping focusing on and investing in the leniency and clarity of pursued return policy. And the necessity of keeping focusing on and investing in professional, optimal supporting website quality, to increase sales. To reduce returns, managers should focus on influencing purchase behavior by offering more guidance, by providing more caring and individualized information and attention on websites, leading customers to make purchase decisions more thoughtfully.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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