By: Dr. Djuwari Sarkawi
In the world of online shopping today, there are big companies that sell things on the internet. Two of these companies are Amazon and Alibaba, and they are competing with each other. Alibaba is really big in China, where lots of people use it to buy things and store their data on the internet. On the other hand, Amazon is the leader in many other countries, where people also use it for shopping and internet storage.
But now, Alibaba is trying to grow in other countries too. To do this, they are lowering the fees that people have to pay when they sell things on their website. They want more people to sell things on Alibaba, just like they do on Amazon (Investopedia, 2023). Considering these two competing businesses, the number of online shoppers is increasing so fast.
The number of people engaging in online shopping is continually on the rise. In 2022, for example, global retail e-commerce sales were projected to surpass 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars, and it is anticipated that this number will continue to climb in the upcoming years (statista.com, 2023).
However, the more the online businesses are spreading their market share, the more competitive they are. They are more competitive for their service quality performance. Service quality has emerged as a pivotal factor that can make or break a business. With the convenience and ubiquity of online shopping, consumers have come to expect more than just a product.
Why? Of course, they demand a seamless and satisfying experience. Consequently, businesses must place a paramount focus on service quality. They have to thrive in this highly competitive arena. To do this, they have to enhance trust. Based on a recent study by Dhingra, S., Gupta, S., & Bhatt, R. (2020), it was found that trust is the only e-service quality dimension that significantly influences overall service quality
With the best trust, service quality in e-commerce encompasses the entirety of a customer’s journey. At this digital society, they land on a website or app to the post-purchase support. It extends beyond the product itself. For sure, it includes factors like website usability, response time, reliability, security, and customer support.
High service quality assures customers that their transactions will be smooth, secure, and hassle-free. For that reason, the role of trust and credibility is essential. Most people know that trust and credibility are the cornerstones of service quality in e-commerce.
To achieve the best trust and credibility, customers must feel secure. So, the companies should satisfactorily provide their customers’ personal and financial information. In this context, establishing trust they have to begin with secure payment gateways, robust data encryption, and transparent privacy policies. Moreover, maintaining credibility involves fulfilling promises regarding product quality, shipping times, and returns.
Besides trust and credibility, a user-friendly website or app is also vital. It is the prerequisite condition for a positive e-commerce experience. For example the navigation should be intuitive. The interface should be responsive and aesthetically pleasing. Of course, there must also be an effective search and filter functions. These are for simplifying the shopping process, reducing frustration. Finally, it can increase service quality.
Achieving the best service for e-commerce is the prompt and effective customer support. This is crucial for resolving issues and building trust. This can be done for example by offering multiple channels of communication. They provide accesses such as live chat, email, and phone support, allows customers to reach out in their preferred manner. Responses should be timely, empathetic, and problem-solving, demonstrating the commitment to resolving any concerns.
E-commerce platforms can enhance service quality by leveraging data analytics and AI-driven recommendation engines. By understanding customer preferences and behavior, businesses can provide tailored product suggestions, creating a more personalized shopping experience. This not only increases the likelihood of sales but also enhances customer satisfaction.
To enhance service quality, e-commerce businesses should actively seek feedback from customers. Online reviews, surveys, and direct communication can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement.
Service quality in e-commerce is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s hyper-competitive market. It encompasses everything from the initial website visit to the post-purchase experience. They should firstly build trust, provide user-friendly interfaces, efficient customer support, personalization, and reliable logistics. These are the key elements in delivering exceptional service quality.
Dr. Djuwari is the Associate Professor at Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama Surabaya (UNUSA), Indonesia. The President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER). He is also the editor and reviewer of some international research journals; A small business owner of Djuw Cafe.