This paper develops a theoretical framework and empirically investigates physical distribution service (PDS) quality by Internet retailers in their transactions with consumers. An analysis of data that measure hundreds of electronic commerce transactions along with data at the firm level shows that higher shipping and handling charges are good indicators of better PDS quality. Other transaction-level conditions and firm-level attributes also affect PDS quality, as measured by availability, timeliness, and reliability. Most notably, when the net price of products transacted increases, PDS reliability and availability decline. Furthermore, Internet-retailer size is found to favor PDS availability whereas, surprisingly, newer Internet retailers exhibit a higher level of PDS availability than many of their incumbent competitors.
- MIS/operations interface
- Service operations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering