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The Last Mile: An Examination of Effects of Online Retail Delivery Strategies on Consumers

Esper, T.L., Jensen, T.D., Turnipseed, F.L. and Burton, S., 2003. The last mile: an examination of effects of online retail delivery strategies on consumers. Journal of Business logistics24(2), 177-203.


The Internet has increased the level of importance of the end-consumer market to transportation carriers. In two between-subject experiments, carrier disclosure on retail merchant websites is examined as a strategic differentiation strategy. Predictions are offered concerning the effects of carrier disclosure strategies on product delivery-related expectations, consumer attitudes, and intentions to purchase a product online. Results from Study 1 reveal significant differences between disclosure and nondisclosure of the carrier for numerous product delivery-related variables, as well as many differences between the six carriers examined in this first study. Study 2 extends these findings by showing that providing consumers with a choice of carrier leads to increased levels of satisfaction with the online experience and greater willingness to buy, relative to nondisclosure and disclosure strategies.

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