The issue is which third-party logistics to engage, and escalating customer complaints about service quality of third-party logistics (3PL) enhances the tendency of online retailers to switch to another 3PL. The current study seeks to investigate the factors influencing the satisfaction and switching intention of 3PL services among online sellers in Malaysia.
Applying a purposive sampling method, data were gathered via an online survey among online sellers. Initially, the system gathered 418 respondents, but only 311 were useable for further analysis. Since we operationalised the measures as composites, a combination of reflective and formative measurement in the study and the study focuses on explanatory and predictive purposes, partial least squares structural equation modelling with SmartPLS 4 was applied to test the model developed.
The results indicated that conflict handling had a positive effect on satisfaction, and satisfaction had a negative relationship with the switching intention of 3PL among the online retailers. Moreover, satisfaction and customer relationship management sequentially mediated conflict handling and switching intention, whereas CRM strengthens the negative relationship between satisfaction and switching intention.
The respondents only limit to the online sellers in Malaysia which based on purposive sampling method, thus the findings cannot be generalised to another countries.
The study offers insightful information for the managers of the 3PL in crafting a better policy to avoid switching behaviour among their customers. The conflict between customers and providers is unavoidable since consumers have unlimited demand and businesses have limited resources. The findings also benefit online sellers and 3PL service providers to create attractive marketing strategies for business sustainability.
The study developed a new model for the 3PL studies using the S-O-R model in introducing conflict handling and customer relationship management as the stimulus, customer's satisfaction as an organism and switching intention as a response. The study introduced single and sequential mediators also contributes to the S-O-R theory to predict the switching intention among the online sellers towards the 3PL providers. Another important contribution, customer relationship management, was confirmed to play a moderating role to influence the relationship between satisfaction and switching intention."