Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129

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Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jretconser

Supermarket self-checkout service quality, customer satisfaction, and
loyalty: Empirical evidence from an emerging market
Fatma Demirci Orel a,n, Ali Kara b,1
a
b

Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration, Cukurova University, Adana 01330, Turkey
College of Business Administration, Pennsylvania State University York Campus, York, PA 17403, USA

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 8 April 2013
Received in revised form
1 July 2013
Accepted 3 July 2013
Available online 22 August 2013

Supermarket shoppers around the world are increasingly encountering and using self-service technologies (SSTs) during their shopping process. The SSTs are mainly offered to reduce retailer costs and
enhance customer's experience. Among the many different SSTs available, self-checkout systems (SCS)
have become an extremely popular choice of supermarkets around the world. Although some of the main
motivations of the supermarkets for offering SCSs are cost cutting, speed, and convenience, supermarkets
are also assuming that these services would enhance customer experience, satisfaction, and ultimately
loyalty. However, empirical evidence is needed to better understand customer expectations of SCS
service quality and how technology based service quality impacts retail patronage. Therefore, the
purpose of this research is to examine the service quality of supermarket/grocery store SCSs and its
impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty in an emerging market, namely Turkey. Using the SSTQUAL
scale (Lin and Hsieh, 2011), data (n ¼275) for the study is collected from shoppers who had just
completed going through the self-checkout counter in a large supermarket chain. The results of this
study show that SCS service quality positively influences loyalty through the customer satisfaction path.
Managerial and research implications of the findings are discussed.
& 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Self-checkout service quality
Customer satisfaction
Customer loyalty
Emerging market

1. Introduction
Rapid advances in technology are significantly influencing how
retailers deliver their functions and stay competitive in the globalized markets. These technological advancements are dramatically
altering the way consumers interact with retailers and how retailers
communicate with their customers. To reduce cost, increase value,
and improve customer satisfaction, retailers are adopting a variety of
self-service technologies (SSTs) at an increasing rate. According to a
survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), while only
six percent of the supermarkets in the USA had offered self-checkout
lanes in 1999, that share has jumped to thirty-five percent in 2003
(Grimes, 2004), and reached to nearly ninety-five percent in 2007.
Furthermore, a recent IHL report shows that approximately 15–40%
of all daily transaction value and 12–30% of the daily dollar value of
supermarkets (Kroger, Albertson's and others) are being handled by
self-checkouts (Holmen and Buzek, 2012). Similar trends are developing in other countries as well. For instance, the NCR Corporation

n
Correspondence to: Cukurova University, Department of Business Administration, Professor of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative
Sciences, 01330 Adana, Turkey. Tel.: +90 322 3387255x279;
fax: +90 322 3387286.
E-mail addresses: fdorel@cu.edu.tr (F. Demirci Orel), axk19@psu.edu (A. Kara).
1
Tel: +1 717 771 4189; fax: +1 717 771 8404.

0969-6989/$ - see front matter & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2013.07.002

reported that self-checkouts were introduced to Turkish consumers
in five grocery stores for the first time in Turkey in 1999 (NCR, 2001).
Turkey mirrored the strategy employed in the US by first introducing
self-checkouts in supermarkets but unlike in the US where selfscanning initially failed (Dabholkar et al., 2003), shoppers in Turkey
quickly became accustomed to the new system (NCR, 2001). Since
then, the self-checkout use in the supermarkets has been increasing
and approximately 107 supermarkets currently offer self-checkout
service in Turkey.
Although the retailers have been using SSTs for a while and
interest in the SSTs is not a new concept, the measurement and
evaluation of the value of SSTs are becoming increasingly more
important as the retailers expand their offerings and more and
more customers utilize such services. A recent survey conducted
for NCR shows that almost half of the shoppers under the age of 45
prefer to use self-services in supermarkets (Giesen, 2012). While
retailers are motivated by cost reductions, efficiency, flexibility,
productivity and improved corporate performance when adopting
SSTs (Lee et al., 2009; Bitner et al., 2002), it is imperative to
examine the customers' shopping experiences and service quality
expectations of self-checkout systems' (SCS) in order to accomplish improved retailer service performance, customer satisfaction
and loyalty.
A considerable amount of previous research has studied the
importance of service quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty

empathy and tangibles) and the SERVQUAL scale was offered to measure service quality in face-to-face service encounters. As a result. Also. p. 1992. we argue that service quality assessments should have a narrower focus for different microlevels within an organization because of the unique nature of different service offerings. or how cultures influence and modify the effects of service quality (Bitner. Athanassopoulos et al. 1991. Parasuraman et al. We then focus on the current attempts made to measure service quality in SSTs and more particularly in SCSs. 2008).. self-service kiosks (digital photo kiosks. information kiosks. Therefore.F.. p. Furrer et al. Service quality of SSTs 2. Such debates have significantly enriched the literature on the subject and may have even contributed to the evolution of a “service-dominant (S-D) SSTs may be defined as “…technological interfaces that enable customers to produce a service independent of direct service employee involvement” (Meuter et al. SERVQUAL has also been criticized for its weaknesses and practical applications (Cronin and Taylor. 1992). 1999. Woodruff et al. Service industry Human contact Machine assisted service Electronic service Retail banking Grocery Airline Restaurants Movie theater Book store Education Retail store Teller Checkout clerk Ticket agent Waiting staff Ticket sales Shop assistant Teacher Checkout clerk ATM Self-checkout station Check-in kiosk Vending machine Kiosk ticketing Stock-availability terminal Computer tutorial Self-checkout station Online banking Online order/pickup Print boarding pass Online order/delivery Pay-per-view Online ordering Distance learning Online shopping . Internet services (such as banking over the Internet). Cronin and Taylor. 1993. The SERVPERF scale has since been frequently used to measure service quality in several studies (Bloemer et al. automated hotel checkouts. responsiveness.. 1993. 119 logic” that argues for the centrality of service as the value creating activity that drives marketing exchanges (Vargo and Lusch. 1992. a number of studies have sought to examine the service quality construct more closely. 2001. reduce employee related expenses. The adoption of SSTs has been following an evolution process which is illustrated in Table 1. Carman (1990) argued that there is little theoretical support with regards to the relevance of service expectations–performance gap as a basis of measuring service quality. Teas. Moreover.. Literature review 2. Carman.1. 2. We argue that the role of service quality delivered by SCSs should be investigated to understand its influence on consumers' patronage intentions towards retailers as a whole. 1995. rather than simply examining consumers' acceptance of or satisfactions/dissatisfactions with the SCSs. 2003). grocery self-checkout lanes and pay-atpump gas stations incorporate technology to provide their service to the consumer. Also. Finally. 2000. Vanniarajan and Anbazhagan. 2000). the purpose of this research is to examine the service quality of supermarket/grocery store SCSs and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty in an emerging market. Table 1 Evolution of self-service. 444). 1988). Although it has been a very popular measure to use. This table shows Fitzsimmons' (2003) concept of the ‘evolution of self-service’ stages from the original ‘face-to-face’ service encounter to the current trend for a service encounter that is facilitated by technology. interactive music and movie samplers. 1993). Teas. Cronin and Taylor (1992) argued that the conceptualization and operationalization of SERVQUAL was inadequate and cited relevant marketing literature (Bolton and Drew. achieve customer retention.. 1988). A. 2007.. such as SCSs. Traditionally. 1982. 1990. most of the previous research has focused on assessing service quality as a global measure of the firm's offerings. Brown et al. and electronic kiosks for gifts). we present our conceptualized model with respect to the role of service quality on loyalty. Cronin and Taylor (1992) offered their version of perceived service quality model (SERVPERF). Source: Fitzsimmons (2003. Next. service quality has been conceptualized as the difference between customer expectations of a service to be received. namely Turkey. in a retail organization then becomes crucial because such emphasis will not only contribute to the systemic quality improvements for other offerings of the retailer but also contribute to a management culture that accepts the improvements in service quality as a longterm continuous process and its importance as a key element for the success of the entire organization... Babakus and Boller. Focusing research attention to service quality of the newly adopted systems. other researchers argued that there might be a possibility of existence of up to 9 dimensions of service quality depending on the type of service sector under investigation. 1983) supporting simple performance-based measures of service quality. A range of service delivery points such as ATMs. which takes into account the customer's perception of the quality of the service provided. Churchill and Surprenant.D. about whether contexts (industry) and type of services have any influence on service quality perceptions. assurance. An overview of service quality Since the seminal article of Parasuraman et al. (1988) that offered a structure to the concept and measurement of service quality. We first provide a brief synthesis of the service quality literature in general on key conceptual issues. debates have raged about the dimensions and measures of service quality. and perceptions of the actual service received (Grönroos. The retailers provide SSTs to enhance consumers' experience. whether service quality ought to be assessed at the encounter level or more generally. we present the results of quantitative analyses and offer explanations of the study's findings.2. 1992. 50). 2002. and keep up with the technological advancements. Parasuraman et al. Orel. the existing research on the measurement of the service quality of SSTs has generally focused on e-services and much less research attempts have been made to examine the measurement of SCS service quality and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Zeithaml and Bitner. For the last three decades. Similar criticism was also raised by several other researchers (Cronin and Taylor. (1988) conceptualized service quality as a construct with five dimensions (reliability. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 using established measurement scales such as SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al.

enjoyment and control). Barnes and Vidgen (2001) have extended the SERVQUAL scale and established a WebQual Index including the following seven dimensions of service quality: reliability. The retailers benefit from SCSs in the form of reduced staffing needs. and understanding the individual. and skills to complete the transactions. behavior. On the other hand. These dimensions included access. Ding et al. such systems enable consumers to co-produce the service with a minimal or no involvement of service provider's employees (Meuter et al. Accordingly. Conceptual model and hypotheses The literature shows that service quality is closely related to customer satisfaction (Brady and Robertson. Perhaps the most recent scale. enjoyment.120 F. Dabholkar et al. . Sureshchandar et al. among others. 2008) while others have focused on the development of new measurement scales for SSTs. consumers are assumed to benefit from SCSs in the form of reduced checkout time. site aesthetics. Lee et al. This provides cost efficiencies and improved use of labor to the retail firms and possibly contributing to retailer's competitive advantage. this study included four factors (reliability. competence. Bauer et al. We argue that the existing research on the measurement of the service quality of SSTs has mostly focused on e-services. one attendant can assist customers in four to six checkout lanes. responsiveness. a number of attempts have been made to develop a context specific service quality measurement scale for technology based services. personal attention. flexibility. processing speed and security. convenience. Caruana (2002) showed that service quality is an important input to customer satisfaction and Cronin and Taylor (1992) included loyalty as one of the important outcomes of service quality models. The delivery of retail services using SSTs differs from other face-to-face interactions with the service provider. personalization. For instance. In this process. During the last decade.. responsiveness. if needed. and price knowledge. Zeithaml et al. A. and product portfolio). (2000). Accordingly. (2004) argued that SST service quality should have specific dimensions and proposed six SST perceived service quality dimensions (reliability. reliability and responsiveness.D. knowledge. enjoyment. 2001. comfort and features) as the service quality dimensions. 2003). aesthetic design. and service fulfillment). We believe that SSTQUAL is best fit to measure service quality of SCSs in supermarket environment. The E-S-QUAL scale addresses core service quality aspects and consists of four quality dimensions (efficiency. Their scale included four dimensions: ease of use. communication. we utilize the following conceptual model in this study to examine the Fig. Yang et al. hence researchers argued that they may not be able to represent the different facets of service quality of the SSTs. Parasuraman et al. and perceived privacy/anonymity (Hsieh. Literature provides various scales to measure service quality. security. (2005) proposed the E-S-QUAL scale for assessing the service quality provided by online shopping providers. credibility. SSTQUAL has 20 items and seven dimensions (functionality. 2009) and customer loyalty. design. system availability and privacy). (2011) offered e-SELFQUAL for measuring online self-service quality. More recently. The attributebased model suggested by Dabholkar (1996) could be used as a framework to measure the five most important service quality aspects of SSTs cited in the literature (speed of delivery. Orel. Accordingly. As mentioned earlier. ease of use. the selfcheckout systems (SCSs) have been a popular choice of SST in the retailing sector. Hsieh. In other words. Adapted from Dabholkar et al. process. assurance. efficiency. By its nature. which consists of four dimensions (perceived control. which leads to reduced personnel training costs (Dabholkar et al. (2009) offered a scale to measure the service quality of the self-service kiosks in retail stores. 3. SCSs are assumed to offer numerous benefits to retailers and customers. access.. On the other hand. the success of the service production is influenced by customer's engagement. (2006) developed a transaction process-based scale for measuring service quality (eTransQual) and identified five quality dimensions: functionality/design. SERVQUAL and SERVPERF scales were primarily designed to address customer-to-employee interaction. Akbar and Parvez. Generally. responsiveness. reliability. assurance/trust. In response to the attempts that have been made to develop a specific service quality measurement instrument for SSTs. fulfillment. service convenience. 2006. security. (2002) produced 11 dimensions to be used in evaluating the delivery of electronic service quality. 2002. security. 2003. 2005). Yoo and Donthu (2001) proposed an instrument to measure the perceived quality of an Internet shopping site (SITEQUAL). 2000). SSTs require consumer's active participation in the production process of the services. which was specifically developed for SSTs. 2005). ease of navigation. but not the customer-to-SST interaction. is offered by Lin and Hsieh (2011). some studies focused on examining the antecedents of consumer dissatisfaction with SSTs (Robertson and Shaw.. The conceptual model of the research. ease of use. reliability. competence. Traditionally. and customization) and has been offered as a global assessment of SST service quality across contexts.. customer service. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 It is argued that SSTs lead to a perception of enhanced service as customers can complete the transaction more quickly and conveniently (Anitsal and Flint. 1. faster service.

Various studies have shown a link between perceived service quality and satisfaction (Cronin and Taylor. and recommend the product/service to others. Ehigie (2006) suggested that customer satisfaction is positively related to customer loyalty/retention and Kheng et al.1. 1983. Caruana. 3. (1988) satisfaction is related to a specific transaction.. (2001) as involving word-of-mouth recommendation to others and an increased likelihood of buying the brand. commit to repurchase the company's product/service. 2005).D. 2011). Similarly. Wu (2011) also revealed that electronic service quality has a direct positive effect on customer satisfaction for consumer electronics e-tailers. 4. 2001). 1988. Choi et al.. The literature identifies that service quality is an essential element for customer loyalty (Cronin and Taylor. Zeithaml et al. Shankar et al. 2002. Ribbink et al. Measurement All measurement scales used in this study are selected from previous studies. Kotler and Armstrong (1996) define customer satisfaction as the level of a person's felt state resulting from comparing a product's perceived performance or outcome with his/her own expectations. Akbar and Parvez (2009) reported that customer satisfaction performed a key mediating role between service quality and customer loyalty and Wu (2011) revealed that perceived value and customer satisfaction were two significant variables that mediated the relationships between electronic service quality and customer loyalty. we feel that the effects of perceived service quality on loyalty will be mediated by satisfaction with services. Fig. Customer satisfaction will have a direct positive impact on loyalty. reported fifteen positive and statistically significant correlations between satisfaction and loyalty. In general. Therefore. in their meta-analysis. it is the overall level of contentment with a service/product experience. 1 also shows the directions of hypothesized relationships. 1999) and that they are more likely to possess stronger purchase intentions and recommend the product (Zeithaml et al. Customer satisfaction is defined here in Oliver's (1997) terms as the consumer's fulfillment response. 2002). (2004) identified a positive link between electronic service quality and customer satisfaction in the e-commerce industry. (1996) argued that when customers are happy with the services provided. Since the SSTQUAL is mainly designed for a variety of SSTs. On the basis of the above arguments. certain behaviors were evident including customer loyalty. Siddiqi. Methodology 4. 1993).1. Orel... Szymanski and Henard (2001). 1993). while some studies in the literature have provided evidence to support the view of a direct link between customer satisfaction and loyalty. in the service marketing literature. a review by Jacoby and Kyner (1973) confirmed that previous studies used behavioral outcomes to measure loyalty and argued that satisfied customers would have a higher usage level of service than those who are not satisfied (Bolton and Lemon. It is a judgment that a product or service provides a pleasurable level of consumptionrelated fulfillment. Bitner and Zeithaml (2003) stated that satisfaction is the customer's evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether that product or service has met their needs and expectations.. 3. (2010) found that high customer satisfaction had a positive effect on customer loyalty. SCS service quality will have a direct positive impact on satisfaction. many studies show that service quality leads to customer satisfaction (Brady and Robertson. we expect that some of the dimensions such as security/privacy may not be applicable to the retail self-checkout settings. Akbar and Parvez. 1999. 1995. which tracks customers across numerous firms representing all major economic sectors. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 SCSs service quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty.. Cronin and Taylor (1992) revealed that consumer satisfaction has a significant effect on purchase intentions. Wu (2011) also found this positive effect in the e-commerce industry. The following hypothesis is offered: H2. Bloemer and Kasper. A number of other studies have also established that customer satisfaction positively affects loyalty (Bearden and Teel. Scholars argue that a customer who is satisfied with the quality of services received from a service provider will be more likely to form intentions to repeat purchases from the same provider. 2009. Satisfaction with services is a desired outcome of service encounters. studies also showed significant relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. willingness to pay higher prices and 121 reduced likelihood that customers will complain about the company to others. as well as repeated purchase of the goods or services offered by the company. 1992. the following hypothesis is posited: H1. In the service quality literature. SCS service quality will have a positive impact on loyalty. and that the factors that affect customer satisfaction may differ from those that determine customer loyalty (Reichheld. On the other hand. These arguments were supported in a study that confirmed the positive relationship between service quality and repurchase intentions (Boulding et al. Caruana (2002) argued that customer satisfaction played a moderating role between service quality and loyalty. The importance of customer satisfaction is reflected in the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (Fornell et al. Customer loyalty Customer loyalty has been defined by Lee et al.2. Oliver. Parasuraman et al. Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction has been defined in various ways. both in traditional and technological contexts. linking consumption with post-purchase occurrences such as attitude change (Mishra. Sureshchandar et al..F. 2001. 1992. Pearson (1996) has defined customer loyalty as the mindset of the customers who hold favorable attitudes toward a company. the following is hypothesized: H3. (2000) found that customer satisfaction strongly mediated the effect of service quality on behavioral intentions. Although there is no clear consensus with respect to the measurement and relationships between the two constructs. Furthermore. More recently. 1996). Lee et al. According to Parasuraman et al. We examine this relationship only to confirm that our model predicts earlier findings and serves to validate the alternative measures of service quality. A. 2003).. (2009) also validated the significant effect of the service quality delivered by self-service kiosks on retail patronage intentions. To measure customer satisfaction. 1996). Thus. Marzocchi and Zammit (2006) found that satisfaction with self-checkouts positively influenced consumers' patronage intentions toward a store. For example. it appears that research results pointed towards a significant link between customer satisfaction and customers' behavioral intentions. others indicated that the customer satisfaction–loyalty relationship is complex. Wolfinbarger and Gilly (2003) revealed that strong relationships exist between service quality and customer satisfaction in internet retailing. For the purposes of this study. In a customer–technology interaction context. Boulding et al. Dabholkar et al. we . we have selected the constructs that are considered appropriate to use in the context of retail self-checkouts. 2009. In other words. More specific to the current study.

in Adana. the wording in the scales was slightly modified to maintain its meaningfulness and clarity in Turkish. Characteristics Frequency Percentage Gender  Male  Female 108 167 39.6 24.9 19.7 9.7%) were female shoppers. the majority (60. This store confirms my expectations. Alpha is not a good indicator . the fifth largest city in Turkey. The majority of the respondents were between the ages of 25 and 45. The likelihood that I would recommend this store to a friend is. I'm really satisfied with the service quality of self-checkout in this store).3%) were male and 167 (60. (2000). (2009) regarding the age group that uses self-checkout systems.1 49 74 73 51 17. This gender composition is a reasonable representation of the grocery shoppers in Turkey.6 20.4 3. Table 3 shows that most reliability scores were within the suggested levels (.6 85 54 68 43 25 30. Therefore. after which a final version was adopted for data collection.5 46. Orel.7 89 87 57 27 12 3 32. I'm really satisfied with the service quality of this store. Both stages allowed us to rigorously review and revise the survey questions. The study results offer intriguing and important findings for research and practice. Sample profile Table 2 provides information about sample characteristics.7 15. Back translation was done by a third person to ensure accuracy of the original scales in the Turkish retailing context by following the guidelines suggested in the literature.5 Age Less than 25 25–35 36–45 46–55 56–65 Over 65       Frequency of self-checkout  Always  Often  Sometimes  Rarely  First time Top three complaints about self-checkout  Lack of other information provided by cashiers (such as promos)  Gets tedious when more items purchased  Difficult to purchase items that need to be weighed  Bagging difficulties have adopted the scales from Bloemer and Ruyter (1998).D. Data collection was done during different days of the week and time periods of the day to get a better representation of the shoppers. Reliability analysis The first step was to check the construct reliabilities for the measures used in the study. Questionnaire design The measures used in the questionnaire were translated into Turkish by the authors who are fluent in both languages. A major supermarket retail chain agreed to assist with the survey by administering it to the customers during the shopping process.8 26. Where needed.4 12. Expert comments were sought first on this version that led to some changes in wording of the questions in order to maintain their original meanings in Turkish. The instrument then was pretested next with an actual set of potential supermarket shoppers. I am very satisfied with the company. 108 (39.4%) of the respondents had a college degree or higher.2. it is assumed that the data collection process was realistic and reflected customers' service quality expectations and experiences.4 31. which supports the findings of Giesen (2012) and Lee et al. I consider this supermarket as my primary supermarket).5 18. A. As a result. 4. Also. which measure satisfaction using four Likert type scales (Overall.0     Frequency of grocery shopping Daily 2 or 3 times a week Once a week Less than once a week 110 122 34 9 40. If I had to do it again.6 9. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 Table 2 Sample characteristics. which we believe is the most important characteristic of the customer group who are most likely to use the self-checkouts. Table 3 shows the average construct reliabilities for SST scale.4 8.3 17. which measured loyalty using five Likert type scales (The probability that I will shop at this store again is.3 Time spent on shopping  Less than 30 min  30–1 h  More than 1 h 108 119 48 39.9 32.122 F.5 Average weekly grocery bill ($)  Less than $50  Between $50 and $100  More than $100 92 129 54 33.3 60. 5. The interviewers were instructed to emphasize that the store management was conducting this survey and they are very interested in understanding customer experiences of the self-checkout process and that the store management was planning to use this information to improve their offerings. a total of 275 completed questionnaires were obtained and deemed to be valid for data analysis in this study. I would still shop at this store.3 43. Data collection After the process of refining and finalizing the questionnaire.4 1.7 52.9 19. 5.0 44. In general we can make a case that these scores are satisfactory for testing and validating the structure reported in Lin and Hsieh (2011).8 4. I say positive things about this supermarket to other people. customer loyalty was measured using the scales adopted from Cronin et al. Finally.1.9 26. Analysis and results 5. we used personal interviews to administer the printed questionnaires to the customers of the large supermarket chain whose selfcheckout system offers their shoppers the option to scan.3.1 Education  Elementary school  High school  College  Grad school 19 90 144 22 6. Customers who have completed their shopping through a self-checkout lane were approached and asked to participate in the study. 4. with an exception of the security/privacy construct.2.70) in the literature. Of the 275 total number of respondents. Descriptive and structural statistical analyses were performed on the data to test the hypothesized relationships in the conceptual model. bag and pay for purchases without cashier assistance.

In addition. The model had a significant Chi-square (172.78 . four alternative models were tested using AMOS. 1989. RMSEA ¼.723 Security/privacy .88 .08 .13). 2001).47 2. 2.779 Convenience . The value of KMO-MSA was .005. Chou and Bentler. there are multiple attendants who oversee the self-checkouts and they frequently offer to assist the customers without any request. as it allows us to depict a second order construct. The firm's SST understands my specific needs. Table 4 presents the fit indices for each of the four models. Usually . . The firm's SST provides me with all relevant information. Customization . Chi-sq df Model Model Model Model 1 2 3 4 (one factor) 930. 3. as in the case of this research. 1994) and do not put the results in question. Reliability coefficients (Alphas) Functionality . indicating convergent validity (Anderson and Gerbing. I feel good being able to use the SSTs. reflecting all seven factors.93 .00.001).081 .92. which is the minimum cut-off for factor analysis.” Accordingly.800 1.87. 2. 2. all factor loadings were significant. Multivariate normality was assessed by comparing Mardia's (1970) coefficient against its critical ratio (Byrne.6 (six factors) 262. Also./df GFI CFI NFI RMSEA .9 (five factors) 172.16 .00 .874 Design 1.00 5.87 . p. Therefore. 123 . In other words. 1996) which is the most commonly used approach in structural equation modeling (SEM). Measurement model Confirmatory factor analysis was first used to estimate the model parameters and examine the factor structure of the constructs tested. We stress that the five-factor model is not a simple discovery in our pursuit of obtaining better fit indices but rather conceptually meaningful and makes more contextual sense. The operation of the firm's SST is interesting.06 5. The scale items used in our study have been previously used in the literature and are considered having sufficient content validity.74 . when a measure has other desirable properties. The SST has operating hours convenient to customers. we felt that this model did not provide the satisfactory fit we were seeking and we should pursue higher levels of fit indices. If the SSTQUAL is a unidimensional construct. The data were found to be acceptably normal. it is common to find coefficient alphas around . A clear privacy policy is stated when I use the firm's SSTs. Orel.. The fit indices (GFI¼ . This model did not provide a good fit (RMSEA ¼ . It is easy and convenient to reach the firm's SST.77 2. CFI¼. (1993). Hence. Model 2 represents how SSTQUAL was originally expected to be a multidimensional perceived SST service quality measure. the low alpha scores may not be a major impediment to its use (Schmitt. 1996). The correlation matrix shows that all correlation coefficients are significant at p o. 5. it would be reflected as a single dimension and all 20 items would theoretically load on one factor.F.905 1. The firm's SST has interesting additional functions. 3.94 . 3. Each service item/function of the SST is errorfree.93 indicating the data were appropriate for factor analysis.” Based on this perspective. we pruned these dimensions one at a time.3.00 . 2. The firm providing the SST has a good reputation.593 1. I feel safe in my transactions with the firm's SST.53 2. self-checkout service quality. The firm's SST appears to use up-to-date technology. . Model 3 and Model 4 are tested.8 170 149 104 80 P Chi-sq. Results show that the model fit is improved in each case and a five-factor model yielded the best model fit indices. Scale dimensions/items Table 4 Alternative models and fit indices.740 1. I can get service done smoothly with the firm's SSTs. the lowest t-value being greater than 8. Assurance 1. 196). Moreover.92 . Additionally all levels of significance for Bartlett's test for sphericity are less than .7. for testing the causal model) show that the items have good measurement properties. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 Table 3 Reliability scores of SSTQUAL scale. Enjoyment 1.50 (Pallant. support for one model from a class of equivalent models is suspect at best and potentially groundless and misleading (p. the two dimensions included in the SSTQUAL (security and customization) may not necessarily be applicable in a retail self-checkout setting because the security/privacy concerns are not salient and customization is not expected. All KMO results were above . 2. 1970).001 level (Table 5). I can get my service done with the firm's SST in a short time. The firm's SST has my best interests at heart. The firm providing the SST is well-known. it is relatively generic in a sense that there are significant variations among SSTs. as coefficient values are relatively receptive to the number of items in the constructs. 2003).90 .70 is desired but Schmitt (1996. of unidimentionality and low levels of alpha can be attributed to the sample homogeneity (Bernardi. “without adequate consideration of alternative equivalent models. we examined the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin measure of sampling adequacy (KMOMSA) (Kaiser.13 . 4. The service process of the firm's SST is clear. 2007). The layout of the firm's SST is aesthetically appealing. A. CFA results showed that all items had significant loadings on their corresponding constructs with significant t-values (po. 1988). Using the firm's SST requires little effort. As noted by MacCallum et al. particularly when the constructs have fewer than 10 items. in the next two models. However. Model 1 represents a single-factor solution incorporating all 20-scale items. Although SSTQUAL is specifically developed for self-service technologies.D. The results of the measurement model for Model 4 (which we chose to use from the four options.50.08) for the seven-factor model can be considered “moderate but acceptable” according to the literature (Lukas et al. especially in Turkish retail environments. . The firm's SST has features that are personalized for me. The measurement models were estimated based on a covariance matrix using the maximum likelihood estimation method (Cudeck. With the intention of evaluating whether the correlations among variables are suitable for factor analysis. 4. KMO results along with the Bartlett results indicate the data is suitable for factor analysis.94 . Accordingly.91 .7 (seven factors) 413. 2. 351) states that “…use of any cutoff value is shortsighted.96 . 2. we have adopted Model 4 for structural analysis.00 .70 .

In addition. If I need to shop again.46 3.942 . standard deviation. with an exception of one construct.21 3. Table 7 shows most of the values needed to examine discriminant validity. which was expected given its sensitivity to the sample size. Using the firm's SST requires little effort 4. The layout of the firm's SST is aesthetically appealing 2.755 .003 1.701 . The firm providing the SST is well-known 2.70 (with two exceptions) indicating adequate convergence or internal consistency.001 level. I would speak positively about this store to others 5.221 . Considering Table 6 Psychometric properties and CFA results of constructs. I can get service done smoothly with the firm's SSTs 5.983 .99 . and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA)¼ .87) 1.03 . AVE for functionality.89) 1. All AVEs are greater than the criterion (. The AVEs indicate the acceptable levels of discriminant validity and hence we consider that the model is acceptable to continue to test the structural relationships hypothesized in the model.70 Assurance (α¼ .82 . we can compare the average variance extracted (AVE) estimates to the corresponding squared interconstruct correlation estimates (SIC). Although some statistics may appear to be below the estimates suggested in the literature. I would shop in this store again 2. The service process of the firm's SST is clear 3. CRs present a similar pattern and may be considered acceptable.70 AVE .44 4. they do not appear to be significantly harming the model fit or internal consistency.49 4. To estimate discriminant validity.739 .42 .739 .25 4. Discriminant validity is the extent to which a construct is truly distinct from other constructs. design and convenience demonstrates reasonable discriminant validity but the enjoyment dimension fails to support it. the evidence provides an initial support for the convergent validity of the five construct SSC service quality measurement model.026 .39 4. I can get my service done with the firm's SST in a short time 2.72 .780 .778 1.5) suggested in the literature with an exception of one latent variable.83 .35 .973 1.56 . I am extremely pleased with the quality of service provided by the self-checkout system 4.42 4.859 All correlation coefficients are significant at the . The operation of the firm's SST is interesting 2.68 .88 .73) 1.624 . It is easy and convenient to reach the firm's SST 4. I would recommend this store to any of my friends 3.60 . together. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 80.84 Customer Satisfaction (α¼ . Similarly.24 . loadings and AVEs (average variance extracted). Table 7 shows that the standardized loadings estimates are above . This store meets my expectations 4. The SST has operating hours convenient to customers 2.06.42 4.000).88 .28 3.67 . I am extremely pleased with the quality of service provided by this store 3.751 .852 . Therefore.16 4.79) 1.803 . Constructs Functionality Enjoyment Assurance Design Convenience (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (1) (2) (3) (4) . Mean S.87 .58 . po.012 . Generally I am very happy with this store 2. The firm's SST has interesting additional functions 4.24 4.67 . The firm providing the SST has a good reputation 4.111 1. The firm's SST appears to use up-to-date technology 4. the indicator items are retained at this point and adequate evidence of convergent validity is provided.5.81 .735 . Although one could argue that these results present weak validity it is important to evaluate the results in light of all the information rather than using a single measure.78 Convenience (α ¼.712 . All but one AVE were equal or higher than the suggested level in the literature indicating sufficient convergent validity.45 4.800 1.77 . However.74) 1. means. I would come to this store 4.5 or above (with one exception) and all CR values are very close to or above .78) 1. SICs were higher than their respective AVEs indicating weak discriminant validity. the measurement model provided a good fit to the data based on the following statistics: comparative fit index (CFI)¼ .83 .07 .82 .852 . One could have potentially eliminated some constructs or pruned some of the items in each construct to obtain higher levels of methodological results but that would have altered the original measurement scale.49 Loyalty (α¼. AVE estimates are .49 4.55 .65 .62 4.60 4.48 1. assurance. A.D.D.696 .70 .96. Finally.93.676 .615 .656 .124 F. Orel.81 1.85 . Load Functionality (α ¼. Each service item/function of the SST is error-free 4.85 . Table 6 presents the reliability scores.88 Design (α¼ .26 4. This store is my preferred choice 4.69 Enjoyment (α¼ . The firm's SST provides me with all relevant information 4. goodness of fit index (GFI)¼. Taken Table 5 Correlation matrix for constructs.44 4.014 .742 .84 .86 . I feel good being able to use the SSTs 3. the model fits relatively well based on the goodness of fit measures.840 .496 .91) 1.063 1.78 . On the other hand.023 1.

23 . 2.77 .727 .52 .74 IC ¼ Interconstruct correlations.827 .12% . that this scale has been used in the literature and its validity has been validated before. not altering it is justified even though weak discriminant validity results are obtained.805 59.43 . it might be necessary to focus on more culture-specific measurement scales/ items that are designed to measure the phenomenon of interest in .89 .25) 41% . CR ¼Construct Reliabilities.32 .876 .47 .56 1.71 .888 . .561 . .51 .33 .870 .89.537 .33 (.80 . . Moreover.71 .61% .24 .65 .820 .35 F–E F–A F–D F–C E–A E–D E–C A–D A–C D–C .33 1.69 .68 .86 .64 . Orel.72 (.713 .79 . variance extracted.72 . Delta ¼Standardized Error Variance. Perhaps instead of using an etic approach to make generalizations across cultures that use a single core approach to measure consumer behavior regardless of the environment.46 .49 . Structural model tested. A.76 .66 .39) 77.49 .28 .69 (. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 125 Table 7 Five factor completely standardized factor loadings. Fig. Assur. F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 E1 E2 E3 E4 A1 A2 D1 D2 C1 C2 Variance Extracted (AVE) Construct Reliability (CR) SIC Estimates .94 . Design Conv.74.867 . .55 .51 .43) .51) Item Reliabilities .F.53 .68 .39 .75 .68% .61 .25 .54 .64 1.D.18 Delta Const pairs IC SIC .35 .79 (.54 (.89.48 .53 . one could make a case not to focus so much on certain cut-off scores to assess validity but rather to use the original scale as conceptualized.806 67.731 .848 .74 . SIC ¼ Squared Interconstruct Correlations. In this study.62 . Items Func. we tested the original measurement scale in a culturally different environment and in a different context (supermarket self-checkout).693 Enjoy.65 Eigenv. Future empirical studies are encouraged to further investigate the reasons for obtaining marginal validity scores.25 .21 .73 .67 .74.38 1. AVE¼ Average Variance Extracted. and reliability estimates. .29 .47 . 3. .25) 66.79% .54.

we argue that these results are acceptable and sufficient to test the hypothesized structure. considering the measurement model in its entirety. findings also showed that the biggest complaints about self-checkout lines were related to difficulty of use when more items were purchased and when the items did not have a bar code (i.026 11.917 SCS-Satisfaction . One such scale (SSTQUAL) has been recently introduced by Lin and Hsieh (2011) and its effectiveness has been validated.832 SCS-Convenience . po.692 . Conclusion and discussions Self-service technologies (SSTs) have become an integral part in consumers' daily lives. The service quality debate has generated differing views on the measures and dimensions of service quality (Ladhari.52. design. We agree with the arguments that measuring service quality using traditional scales such as SERVQUAL may not be effective and specific scales need to be used in capturing SST service quality dimensions. 2008).. More specifically. functionality refers to the characteristics of the self- . Customer interaction with such systems is very short and concerns for customization are not present. this part of our analysis was to establish the predictive validity of our proposed structure and measures of self-checkout service quality. Based on our findings. Hypothesis 1 predicts that SCS service quality will be a positive impact on customer satisfaction.711 .714 SCS-Design . 2 illustrates (also displayed in Table 8). 2 (and Table 8) illustrates. Structural paths Standardized coefficients Components of SCS service quality SCS-Functionality . 2 through the satisfaction path and the other path is insignificant. As Fig. p ¼ .692. po. The standardized total effects of each latent variable on customer satisfaction and loyalty support the hypothesized relationships.266 . Hypothesis 2 predicts that SCS service quality will have a positive impact on customer loyalty. the lambda coefficient for the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty is positive and significant (λ¼. As described by Lin and Hsieh (2011). namely Turkey.083. our study findings showed that younger customers had higher tendencies to use SCSs during their shopping in supermarkets. These disagreements often originate from the different types of services studied and the extent of customer interface they involve. A.001. As Fig.001 .799). Interestingly enough.917 11. t¼.83. 2 shows the path coefficients and the significance test results.05) and with the expected signs.83. 6. we attempted to use SSTQUAL to measure the service quality for the supermarket self-checkout systems (SCS) in an emerging market. Furthermore. Fig. Table 8 Structural model results (Path coefficients/Standardized regression weights). SCS service quality represents a second-order factor which is used to predict satisfaction and loyalty. This brings up the relevant discussion regarding whether or not researchers should focus on testing and validating the existing scales in different contextual and cultural environments or develop specific scales for different settings. supporting Hypothesis 1. supporting Hypothesis 3.01. CFI ¼.254.001). consumers' response to such changes in service encounters could vary significantly and influence their satisfaction with the retailer offerings. p4.843 SCS-Enjoyment . Orel. As expected. The squared multiple correlations (r-square) in Table 8 indicate that SCS service quality explains 70% of the variation in the model. It also corroborates earlier findings about the relationship between the variables. As indicated earlier. Factor structure confirmed the presence of five factors as opposed to the original seven factors.90. and convenience) identified for the SCS service quality would allow customers to assess service quality of the supermarket self-checkouts. the lambda coefficient for the relationship between SCS service quality and satisfaction is positive and significant (λ¼. we used a structural model (SEM) to analyze the relations between perceived self-checkout service quality. we feel that five dimensions (functionality.832 t-Valuen Squared multiple correlations 11. 5.510 . It is important to note that our argument about satisfaction mediating the relationship between SCS service quality and loyalty is supported because the positive effects of the SCS service quality on loyalty can only be seen in Fig. while keeping in mind that the special nature of such systems might require alterations in the dimensionality of the SSTQUAL. Structural model Finally.891 .516 SCS-Loyalty .609 14. Furthermore. Further analysis showed that both security/privacy and customization dimensions did not have the appropriate psychometric properties and hence had to be pruned. assurance. We strongly argue that such an action is justified because of the nature of SCSs as opposed to the SSTs. investigating the effects of SCS service quality on customer satisfaction and loyalty becomes crucial for the supermarkets.126 F. Further investigation and conceptualization on this issue is needed. satisfaction. enjoyment. CFA results pointed out to a reduced set dimensionality of the SSTQUAL. We think the five construct CFA model used in this study demonstrates sufficient properties to proceed.841 . As SCSs become a major trend in supermarket service delivery. Fig. In supermarket self-checkouts. All ratios (except SCSloyalty path) are significant as they are much above the minimum (p o.4.0001 except NS. However. In this study. Keeping up with the trend. The structural model integrates knowledge gained from past service quality research and is offered more as a corroboration to link the two constructs: service quality.000. customers would have least concerns for security/privacy issues in contrast to other systems such as online purchases.001). supermarkets around the world have started to adopt self-checkout systems (SCSs) at an increasing rate.e. some of the recent publications in the literature point out to the need to address self-service technologies (SSTs) that the customers are being exposed with the advancements in technology and role of service quality of such an interface on customer satisfaction and loyalty. GFI ¼.014 Satisfaction-Loyalty . These constructs are examined in a linear sequence from perceived service quality to satisfaction. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 each culture. n All values are significant at p o.254NS 10. t¼10. and loyalty (Fig. satisfaction and loyalty. 2 and Table 8 show that the lambda coefficient for the relationship between SCS service quality and loyalty is positive but not significant (λ¼.D. the reduced number of dimensionality is very similar to the number of dimensions found in established service quality measurement scales such as SERVQUAL. However. produce or bulk) and needed to be weighed. Although we would have preferred to see all AVEs to be larger than their respective SICs.258 7. t¼7.630 10. SCSs are relatively simplified and do not allow any form of customization or may not be needed.692 . These consumers were also savvy with internet and technology use. Confirmatory (CFA) and structural analyses (SEM) were used to validate the relationships hypothesized in the conceptual model among constructs. 1). RMSEA ¼ .944 SCS-Assurance . Hypothesis 3 predicts that satisfaction will have a positive impact on loyalty.704 – χ2 ¼642 with df ¼222. not providing sufficient support for Hypothesis 2.

The objective of the etic approach is to make generalizations across cultures that take into account all human behavior while the objective of emic approach has been to document the valid principles that describe consumer behavior in 127 specific cultures. A. please note that the data was collected during the shopping process and the supermarket chain used in the study was one of the supermarkets that had the largest market share in the Turkish market. Although the sample size was adequate for this study. To this end.or four-dimensional service quality assessments. Given the criticism SERVQUAL faced in the literature as mentioned earlier. Thus. Finally. However. researchers have attempted to justify whether they should develop a single core approach to measure consumer behavior in all cultures or instead focus on culture-specific items which are designed to measure the phenomenon of interest in each culture. the dimensions identified in this study were not significantly different from the SERVQUAL dimensions. The reduced number of service quality dimensions of the SSTQUAL needs to be tested and further . As hypothesized. our findings should be replicated using larger samples taken from different supermarkets and from different parts of the country. Kara / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 21 (2014) 118–129 checkout including ease of use. suggesting the need to consider the unique measurement scales when measuring service quality for self-checkout services. In this study. However. Thus. Future studies are needed to further validate and clarify the relationships between SCS service quality. this study provides insights into how service quality may be bridged and addressed in the self-service technologies. Perhaps the main limitation is the representativeness of the samples used in this study. satisfaction and loyalty by perhaps utilizing emic approaches in understanding the relationship between these variables. there may be two. Theoretical implications Cross-cultural research could be very valuable in terms of making contribution to the theory development by applying and testing existing relationships among constructs in culturally different market environments. Moreover. For the firms that currently offer or contemplate to offer or plan to expand self-checkout systems. First. with respect to measuring service quality of supermarket self-checkouts. 8. the relationships identified in this study were based on a culturally different international environment which provides further evidence on the construct validity and applicability of service quality measurement in different environments. 1976). Hence. results supported the positive link between customer satisfaction and loyalty. however. our results did not provide support for the direct effect (H2) between self-checkout service quality and customer loyalty but the indirect effect on customer loyalty through the customer satisfaction path is supported (H3). researchers during the past several decades used both etic and emic approaches to provide support for the conceptualized relationships among marketing variables (Brislin. suggesting the need for additional studies along this line of reasoning to explain the variations found in service quality studies. specific measurement scales in measuring service quality for the self-checkout systems could be developed for different cultural environments and the relationships between the relevant constructs should be reassessed. we have attempted to understand the applicability of the previously developed SST service quality measurement scale (SSTQUAL) proposed by Lin and Hsieh (2011) in assessing service quality of supermarket self-checkout systems in Turkey. These factors could provide necessary information for the supermarket to improve satisfaction and or plan for alternative methods/means to deal with the self-checkout service delivery issues. Second. in some industries involving selfcheckouts. Managerial and public policy implications For practitioners. Design refers to the overall system and assurance portrays the confidence and competence of the retailer (service provider). Orel. Study limitations and future research It should be noted that this study has certain limitations. Enjoyment captures the perception with the use of the system. 9. rather than simply offering such services because “everybody else does it. its generalizability to the entire population is limited. SEM results showed a positive and statistically significant relationship between self-checkout service quality and customer satisfaction (H1). Therefore. it appears that the construct is represented adequately by five dimensions of SSTQUAL.F. Consumer complaints and dissatisfaction with the self-checkouts could contribute significantly in accounting the variation in consumer behavior. may vary for different industries and cultural environments. for supermarket self-checkout situations our study shows that specific aspects of SSTQUAL are best reflected in five different dimensions. Specifically. therefore. This needs to be investigated in future research. as hypothesized. although we have used a valid SST service quality measurement instrument (SSTQUAL). Finally. it is important to note that even if we sued SSTQUAL. some dimensions of the original scale had to be pruned due to its applicability (or lack thereof) to the supermarket self-checkout environment and low factor loadings. particularly from an emerging environment of service encounters. responsiveness and reliability.” supermarkets need to assess service quality of such offerings periodically and customer complaints and dissatisfactions need to be resolved timely. Thus. However. it is important for the supermarkets to spend concerted efforts in understanding how their customers evaluate their self-checkout systems and identify the factors that might influence customer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with their use of such systems. Our results represent an incremental contribution to the service quality literature.D. It is important for providers of SCSs to investigate their customers' experiences and evaluations of such technologies and identify different factors that might influence dis/satisfaction with technology-based service encounters. Our findings provided further support for the dimensionality of the measure but with a reduced number of dimensions that would be considered more applicable in measuring service quality of the supermarket self-checkouts. Based on these results. This reframing. while SERVQUAL occupies an important place in service quality evaluations. Several hypothesized relationships among the service quality and the other constructs appeared to be holding in Turkish environment. identification of such factors could provide valuable insight about the role of self-checkouts on customer satisfaction and loyalty. convenience is related to the accessibility of the checkout service offered. our study does not refute SERVQUAL or SSTQUAL but reframes them. In other words. Accordingly. structural and measurement perspective. 7. our study results did not provide strong confirmation of the stability of the SSTQUAL factor structure in the supermarket setting. the findings of this study suggest that supermarket self-checkout service quality has an important positive role on customer satisfaction and ultimately on customer loyalty. Structural analysis showed that self-checkout service quality is found to have a positive and statistically significant effect on customer satisfaction and ultimately customer loyalty in supermarkets. it was a convenient sample collected from a single supermarket in the south eastern part of Turkey.

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