The purpose of this study is to examine the role of perceived logistics capabilities in creating customer loyalty. The theoretical framework was developed from previous research findings examining the concept of the logistics capabilities, mediators (customer satisfaction & relationship commitment) and customer loyalty.
The research model was designed to examine the relationship between logistics capabilities, customer satisfaction, relationship commitment and customer loyalty. The model was analyzed using empirical methods. Questionnaires were distributed to 1,000 manufacturers and retailers including on-line and cable TV home shopping retailers in Korea.
The data were collected from 160 companies and 139 of the 160 samples were finally used for statistical analysis. 21 of the 160 samples were inappropriate, thus removed from the test. Statistical techniques used for data analysis were factor analysis, multi (or simple) regression analysis, path analysis, cluster analysis and on-way ANOVA.
The results support all hypothesized relationships among determinants (logistics capabilities), mediators (customer satisfaction & relationship commitment) and their consequences (customer loyalty). The results show the decomposition of logistics capabilities into three distinct dimensions as follows: logistics knowledge, logistics implementation and logistics management.
This study contends that logistics capabilities have a strong linear relationship to mediators, and the relationship between mediators and customer loyalty is linear as well. The study found that the capability of logistics knowledge is the strongest factor affecting all mediators. Thus, this study suggests that logistics provider must have the capability of logistics knowledge in order to meet shipper's logistics needs effectively.
Contributions of this study to marketing include a deepened understanding of the relationship among the logistics capabilities, customer satisfaction, relationship commitment and customer loyalty from the shipper's perspective. This research should help distinguish different logistics capabilities from the shipper's point of views. If the logistics capabilities can be better understood, then managers of logistics companies will have more clarity about how to increase their weak capabilities for customer's logistics needs.