Shoppers’ logistics activities in omni-channel retailing: A conceptualisation and an exploration on perceptual differences in effort valuation
Wang, X and Wong, YD and Shi, W and Yuen, KF, Shoppers' logistics activities in omni-channel retailing: A conceptualisation and an exploration on perceptual differences in effort valuation, Transport Policy, 115 pp. 195-208. ISSN 1879-310X (2021) [Refereed Article]
The omni-channel shopping system reshapes transport-, mobility- and logistics-related paradigms which create channels for shoppers' participation. By ‘insourcing’ and outsourcing’ logistics activities from/to logistics service providers, shoppers are now becoming ‘smart shoppers’ or even ‘extended employees’ in the omni-channel system. Against this background, this study aims to establish a comprehensive framework of shoppers' logistics activities in omni-channel shopping, focusing on the dimensional structure and perceptual differences in shoppers' effort valuations. To achieve the research aim, an exploratory factor analysis is employed to examine the dimensional structure of shoppers' logistics activities. Subsequently, a scenario-based experiment is designed to explore the impacts of product characteristics on shoppers' effort valuations. A survey instrument is used for data collection. The findings reveal four dimensions of shoppers' logistics activities, which are labelled as information gathering, integrated shopping experience, intellectual activities for delivery, and physical activities for delivery. Value, nature and functionality of the product are found to influence shoppers' effort valuations to different degrees. To conclude the research, seven propositions and a summary schema are provided. This study contributes to the literature by revisiting the concept of consumer logistics where we argue for its emerging relevance/importance in omni-channel retailing. Our contribution also lies in the establishment of the much-needed structure in the research field of shoppers' logistics. Our study also provides practical implications concerning urban freight transportation management by channelling logistics resources of end-consumers into co-creating last-mile logistics.