TRADITIONAL TRADE VS. E-COMMERCE: DOES PRODUCT QUALITY HAVE THE SAME VALUE? A CASE STUDY OF THE CITY OF ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR
Globalization has caused a rapid evolution of commerce in all countries, including developing countries like Madagascar. This is reflected in the emergence of new, more accessible and faster distribution channels with the development of the Internet. Today, customers have a wider choice of products to satisfy their needs and personal convenience. To get closer to customers, traders resort to a range of sales channels. Online and traditional commercial transactions have distinct features which may not match up with customers’ real expectations. Indeed, social networks have grown rapidly in Madagascar since 2010 and have brought about a change that could disrupt customers’ habits. Moreover, the perception of quality might not be the same in each case. This study is intended to compare the perception of product quality from these two channels in order to assess customer satisfaction. The survey was conducted among a sample of 85 people from different socio-professional categories (SPCs), including students, employees, functionaries, unemployed, liberal professionals and stay-at-home persons. Multivariate analyses show the relationships between the expectations of each SPC and the channels used. The results highlight the mismatch between the needs and expectations of each category of customers according to the mode of business operation.
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