Current Situation of Logistics Service in B2C E-commerce

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This chapter introduces the research approaches by illustrating the study and the methods chosen by the authors to carry out both primary and secondary data collection in order to meet the purpose of the thesis. Reliability and validity of the study that we faced are also discussed in this chapter.

Research Strategy

There are two main research strategies to choose from, inductive and deductive research according to Saunders, Lewis and Thornill (2009). Inductive research applies to situations where specificmeasurements or observations are undertaken towards generatingor broader new conclusions or theories (Saunders et al. 2003). Opposed to inductive research is deductive reasoning research, where researcher starts with thinking about generalizations, and then proceeds on the way to how to prove or implement the generalizations (Saunders et al. 2003). Generally, the approaches used are distinct with induction being based on empirical evidence, whilst deduction based on logic.
Commonly, researchers could use both induction and deduction based research approaches according to the specific nature of their studies (Sekaran, 2003). The literature reviewed will be involved in the deductive research approach, which supports the researchers with relevant theories in order to analysis and evaluating of the primary data (Saunders et al., 2009). Adapted from this theory, the model below demonstrates a visual representation of the steps that need to be followed so as to achieve the ultimate research goal.
As for our thesis, initially, we refined clarified our topic into two research questions: (1) how are the logistics services conducted by B2C companies ‘ PLS, and (2) what are the impacts of logistics service on customer satisfaction. According to Yin (2003), deductive research approach is to answer questions such as why and how. Whilst, in order to answer questions such as: who, what, where, how much and how many, the research strategy should be based on inductive method. Thus, the question (1) leads itself to deductive reasoning, while the question (2) is more adapted to inductive based on research. Thus, in the second place we utilized literature review to sort out answer to question (1) and will use what we have found o ut to choose and formulate approach to question (2). After the formulation of research approach, data collection will be involved.

Data Sources

Secondary data

Secondary data is usually that which has been created by previous authors who used it for another reason (Malhotra &Briks, 2007). More often than not, research studies usually begin by searching a host of literature and we embarked on our thesis journey by researching and reading a host of literature in relation to our topic for the purpose of getting a better understanding of the research area.
The literature reviewidentify, synthesize and analyze the conceptual literature as well as completed articles, theses, books and other materials in relation to the research topic and problem (Williamson, 2002). Alongside the above mentioned secondary sources, we also used key words related to the topic and research questions to search the internet for databases.
1. Google Scholar
2. Diva Essays
3. Google
4. JULIA (Jönköping University Library)
1. B2C
2. E-ecommerce
3. Logistics service
4. Proprietary logistics
5. Consumer service
6. Performance measurement
However, what we have to mention here is that secondary data is not always reliable as information retrieved may not be current hence not suitable for the purpose of the research. Thus information retrieved has been cross-checked in order to be assured of its current and accurate nature.

Primary data

Our primary data is gathered from questionnaire. The advantages of this choice are as follows (Oppenheim, 1992):
 Questionnaires are more objective because all the responses are gathered in a standard way. Compared with that, interview could be greatly influenced by both internal and external environment.
 It is relatively a quick way to collect information via a questionnaire. Nevertheless, it takes long time not only to design but also to distribute and analyze results.
 It is not often realized that potential information can be collected from relatively large samples due to the low rate of response. However, return rates can be dramatically improved if the questionnaire is delivered and responded by person to person chatting tools rather than emails.

Choice of sample

The sample for this study was non-randomly chosen from Chinese people. We non-randomly selected 126 Chinese young people from different areas and genders to participate in this study. Choosing the respondents non-randomly was to ensure the rate of responds, because young people are the major consumer group in using computer as well as in on-line shopping.The purpose for selecting more than one area was to find out whether the logistic service offers to the customers from big cities or small towns engage in differ or is the same.
According to Nordqvist (2005), a balance should be striked between the breadth and depth of the cases. By implication, even though selecting more respondents in different ages would have given a wider scope, at the same time, it would make it difficult for us to thoroughly analyze the major consumer group inthe limited time frame to complete the thesis.


Data Collection Method

Two main types of research methods are usually applied by researchers in data collection: qualitative and quantitative research.
• Qualitative research helps the researcher to understand the richness, depth and complexity of consumers – their thought processes and motivations. It is good when you need to understand phenomena and get insight into circumstances and changes (Creswell 2003; Malhotra, N. &Briks, D. 2007).
• Quantitative research is one data collection technique in which the investigators primarily uses postpositive claims for developing knowledge (e.g. reduction to specific variables and hypotheses, use of measurement and observation, and test of the theory), deals with questionnaires or a data analysis procedure which requires the utilization of numerical data (Saunders et al., 2007).
In other words, it can be said that quantitative research appears to answer the question of what, whilst the qualitative research appears to answer the question of why.
Thus, the data collection of our question (2) should be both based on quantitative method.

Quantitative research-questionnaire design

Depth- interview, observation, questionnaire and focus group as quantitative methods are major tools of primary data collection methods. In our thesis, questionnaire is the best selection in the part of quantitative survey design. The reason for this has been discussed in the primary data section.
According to Malhotra, N. &Briks, D. (2007), q uestionnaire design process can be described as follows:
Specify the Information Needed
Specify Question Content
Choose Question Structure
Choose Question Wording
Determine the Order of Questions
Form and Layout
Reproduce the Questionnaire
Our questionnaires both in English and Chinese are attached in the Appendix A.
Q1 starts with ‘Do you have experience of on-line shopping’, to exclude those who have not got on- line shopping experience. We add a tool of logic skip following this question. If respondents answer‗yes‘, they can continue tothe next question. But if the answer is ‗no‘, the system will automatically skip to Q10 ‘Why don’t you shop on-line’. This will efficiently help the respondents save time and enable us to filter out unnecessary answers.
Q2 ‗How often do you shop on -line’ enables us to identify to which extend this respondent‘s answer can be valuable reference. The more frequently the respondent shops on- line, the more reliable the answer is.
Q3‘Where do you live’ is set to find whether the results are different among different living regions or not.
Apart from that, the subjectical questions listed in our questionnaire are mainly based on the three indicators-´Time indicators, Quality indicators and Customer satisfaction-we discussed in the frame of reference part, which are used to measure the performance of logistics service in the aspect of customer. Questions like ‘response time to inquiries’, ‘delivery time after receiving order’, ‘receiving time after delivery belong to Time indicators ; ‘goods damage’, ‘delayed delivery’, ‘picking and shipping errors’ and ‘invoicing and documenting errors’ are Quality indicators. The overall satisfaction investigation, which is so-called Customer satisfaction, contains the performances of major indicators (time, quality and cost), and also other service indicators, such as feedback to complaints, as well as goods change and return, available stock, and so forth.
Besides, our questionnaire should minimize response errors. So we carefully choose wording, questions order, layout, In order to motivate the respondent to cooperate, become involved, and provide complete, honest and accurate answers. According to Malhotra, N. &Briks, D. (2007), pilot-testing refers to the testing of the questionnaire on a small sample of respondents to identify and eliminate potential problems. A questionnaire should not be used in the field survey without adequate pilot-testing. Thus, before formally distribute out, we undertake a pilot-testing survey to get feedbacks and suggestions, based on what, we revise our questionnaire.

Trustworthiness of the Study

If we are to go by Robson (2007) who emphasizes that any type of data collection approach must be supported by the authors. Thus, research that involves any type of data collection needs to be defended by the authors. This will help the reader to be able to understand what was done and why it was done in that specific manner as well.Seale (1999) said that ‗the trustworthiness of a research report lies at the heart of issues conventionally discussed asvalidity and reliability‘.

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Current Situation of Logistics Service in B2C E-commerce
1.3 Research Questions and Purpose
1.4 Definitions
2 Frame of Reference
2.1 Literature Review
2.2 Our Theoretical Framework
3 Methodology
3.1 Research Strategy
3.2 Data Sources
3.3 Data Collection Method
3.4 Trustworthiness of the Study
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 General Data
4.2 Time Indicators
4.3 Quality Indicators
4.4 Customer Satisfaction of PLS
5 Analysis
5.1 The Performance of Logistics Service
5.2 The relationsBetween PLS and Customer Satisfaction
5.3 Summary of Survey Analysis
6 Conclusions
6.1 Conclusion of the Study
6.2 Limitation of the Study
6.3 Implications
6.4 Future Research
7 References

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