Purpose– The purpose of this paper is investigating the value of service guarantee (SG) program in Service e-Commerce (SeC) which is one resolution to promote service transactions. SeC is emerging as a booming form of e-commerce where various services are contracted, managed, sold and even delivered via the Internet. However, the uncertainty of service quality and the heterogeneity of buyer preferences have been major challenges to sustainable development of SeC. Design/methodology/approach– This study uncovered the value of SG in SeC by empirically analyzing the data collected from zhubajie.com, a well-known service e-marketplace in China, to classify the service providers, to indentify the predictors for SG subscription and to study the effects of SG on service providers’ business performance and service quality. Findings– The authors found that the distribution of service provisions is diversified in terms of low-success, mid-success and high-success providers, while proactive or high ability-ranking providers consistently tend to subscribe to SG program. The study revealed that SG has diverse effects on business performance for low-success and mid-success providers. For high-success providers, it seems to not be an effective choice for transaction promotion. Finally, the results showed that SG marginally improved service quality. Practical implications– This research provides some practical implications for SeC markets to improve SG program. In addition, the results also help service providers to understand the value of SG in depth. Originality/value– This article extended the research of SG from the traditional offline market to the online market, as with SeC, in which transactions are conducted without face to face contact.
Nankai Business Review International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015