1. Title

Determinants and mechanism of users’ continuous use of the
online food delivery services (OFD) in Hong Kong

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2. Introduction

2.1 Statement of the problems, Objective of the
study

Online purchasing (E-commerce) has been tremendously leaping
forward (Chan et al.,2017) as increasing numbers of people are more
enthusiastic and intensive to utilize the Internet because the accessibility of
technology, the richness of information, and the capability to interact through
the Internet enhance. With the rapid technological advancement, it allows
consumers to expand their shopping options beyond conventional methods that may
not be as effective and efficient as E-commerce (Shanthi, R., & Desti, K.,
2015). Therefore, consumers are able to conveniently shop by diverting their
attention to the virtual shopping as an alternative medium (Jiang et al.,
2013). According to the Census and Statistics
Department, Hong Kong (2017), over 1.7m Hong Kong citizens aged 15 or above
have used online purchasing services for personal matters during a year before
the interview. It shows that there are massive numbers of Hong Kong people
shopping and purchasing via online.
          

Later on, with the proliferation of the usage of mobile devices
including smartphone and tablet, market penetration has grown dramatically,
leading mobile commerce (M-commerce) to become an increasingly concerned area
by different businesses (Ashraf et al., 2016). However, with the difficulties
of E-commerce encountered like logistical and communication, more and more firms
and organizations require for Electronic intermediation and it leads to surging
outsourcing (Bakos, 2001, Hong and Zhu 2006, Rossignoli et al.,2014). Like food
industry, to remain competitive, some businesses have started to offer
additional online food delivery services. In Hong Kong, the Online Food delivery services are expanding in line with the surge
in E-commerce and M-commerce. However, it is different from online retailing,
the market is generally dominated by some renowned players: UberEats, Deliveroo
and Foodpanda. They are partnering with hundreds of thousand restaurants as the
ordering intermediaries.

Statista (2017), one of the leading statistics
company, reported that the revenue for online food delivery services was
approximately US$206 million dollars in 2016. It took 97% of the total revenue
combined with online and offline food delivery which includes phone order, the
most common way to order food in the past. The projected revenue growth of the
online food delivery services in Hong Kong is expected to be from 17% to 43.7%
between 2017 and 2021.        

Nevertheless, consumers attitudes towards online services or
retailing have mostly been focused by the previous studies and a few
researchers have dug deep to consumer satisfaction as well as the post-purchase
behavior with online food delivery (OFD) services (Yeo et al., 2017). In addition,
users’ post-adoption behaviors have been a hot topic in information systems domain
(Bhattacherjee & Premkumar, 2004). Based on
the facts found above, the objective of this study is to examine the determinants
and mechanism of users’ continuous use of the online food delivery services
(OFD) in Hong Kong. Therefore, this study uses an Expectation
Confirmation Model (ECM) to interpret and examine the continuous intention of
consumers to OFD services.

 

2.2 Literature review (Theoretical Background)

In this section, the idea of online food delivery service and
expectation-confirmation model (ECM) were introduced in the following with the relationship
between related variables.

 

2.2.1 Online Food Delivery Service

 

Online
food delivery service is now a part of the restaurant industry (Ha 2013). It has been transformed from
phone-based to online ordering by visiting websites or by using mobile devices
in which they are able to connect to the internet to meet consumers
ever-changing needs because the technology has played a crucial role to change
the consumer preference that everything is done online including getting meals
delivered straight to their homes or offices (See et al.,2017). In 2017, the total
revenue in the online food delivery amounted to US$91,701 M. From a global
perspective, the most revenue generated from the online food delivery was China
with US$37,179 M (Statista, 2017). The number indicates that more users are
getting involved in it and this new business model is generating lucrative and
profitable opportunities. Because of the new innovation of technology,
start-ups could create their own websites, mobile apps for customers to place
orders (See
et al.,2017).
Like UberEats and FoodPanda, they are the new companies partnering with various
restaurants to provide OFD service to customers with convenience and wider
choices from the partners but not themselves (Carsten et al.,2016).

2.2.2 ECT-based IS Continuance Model

 

In 2001, to further explore IS continuance, an expectation
confirmation model of IS continuance was proposed by Bhattacherjee (2001) based
on the Expectation Confirmation Theory (ECT) which has been normally applied to
marketing research to examine consumer satisfaction and post-purchase behavior
(Oliver, 1980) and prior IS research. Apart from the Expectation Confirmation
Theory, it originates from the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) David (1989)
proposed and merges the Information Systems and the marketing. Bhattacherjee
(2001) integrates perceived usefulness from TAM into ECT, along with
satisfaction, to interpret users’ IS continuance intentions. Continuance
intention is basically based on three factors inside the ECM model: user
satisfaction, post-adoption expectations in which perceived usefulness replaces
post-adoption expectations. For the last factor, the continuance behavior is
predicted by the two variables, user satisfaction, and perceived usefulness
respectively. According to the empirical results found by Bhattacherjee (2001),
user satisfaction was the most significant predictor of the IS continuance
intention found. The IS Continuance Model developed by Bhattacherjee (2001) has
built a strong theoretical basis (Li et al., 2014). Therefore, the model has
been widely practically used in studies to get insight of IS users’
post-adoption behavior in a wide range of research areas and topics, for
example, online travel service (Li et al., 2014), mobile payment services
(Zhou, 2013), e-learning (Lee, 2013), enterprise 2.0 (Jia et al, 2017), mobile
data service (Kim, 2010) and web portals (Lin, 2005). Previous IS research
developed on the IS Continuance Model has concluded that perceived usefulness
and user satisfaction are the major factors of IS users’ continuance intentions
(Stone et al, 2013). They were both found to be significant. The following
technology related contexts also applied to the ECM model. For example, based
on their research results related to the IS Continuance Model, Liao et al.
(2009) have found that the individuals’ continuance intention to use online
courses are derived from user satisfaction and perceived usefulness. Similarly,
Jia et al. (2017) have also validated the IS Continuance Model by Enterprise
2.0 stating that a firm would renew Enterprise 2.0 because of the perceived
usefulness as well as satisfaction, which is consistent with what Bhattacharjee
found (2001).

 

 

2.3 Research Model and Hypothesis Development

 

 

 

 

Price Saving Orientation

 

Consumers consider price
saving by searching price discounts because they care about the cost they pay
for the product or service (Chiu et al., 2014). Another famous study by Tversky
and Kahneman (1981) indicated that consumers were willing and active to put
additional efforts in order to get the discount offered by stores. On the other
hand, cheaper prices for the products or service stimulate sales for a company
and higher discounts of the specific product add the value for consumers (Madan
and Suri, 2001). The price saving orientation not only focuses on monetary but
can also be considered as not adding any extra costs to buy a product or using
a service (Escobar-Rodríguez and Carvajal-Trujillo, 2014).

Consumers are able to
save money by shopping on the Internet (Punj, 2012) because they have the
ability to make price comparisons by using various mobile applications and by visiting
different websites on the Internet. From another empirical study by Akroush et
al (2015), they also mention that money could be saved by shopping online as they
could compare prices among online retailers easily and efficiently. The above
evidence reflects the association between perceived usefulness and price saving
orientation. Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed.

H1.

Price
Saving Orientation is positively related to perceived usefulness.

 

Time Saving Orientation

 

In a competitive city like Hong Kong, everyone is fighting hard
for a living. The statistic provided by career portal jobsDB (2017) shows that
89% of the Hong Kong employees work overtime at the office. Not much people
could spend extra time on their meals. Previous studies also propose that consumers
who value convenience tend to do their shopping on the Internet instead of shopping
in physical stores (Donthu and Garcia, 1999; Childers et al., 2001; Rohm and
Swaminathan, 2004). Instead, simply, with few clicks on their smartphone application
or websites, they could order the food to deliver to their offices directly.
According to the data UberEats shares (2017), a period of time the most orders
received from the offices is between 8pm to 10pm. Working overtime is common
for Hong Kong employees and ordering food online and delivering straight to
their offices could be a method to save time for them.

 

Perceived usefulness is the buyer’s perception that shopping
productivity would be enhanced by the help of a technology according to Gentry
and Calantone (2002). Customers would be benefited by the time and effort saved
as shopping online has the less restricted store hours and locations. They
could take advantage of the flexibility online shops offer by placing orders at
any time of the day and at anywhere. (Childers et al., 2001; Chiu et al.,
2014). Furthermore, shopping on the Internet basically spends less time than
the traditional methods which include shopping in retail outlets because of the
time-consuming events such as traveling to the stores and waiting for the
check-out (Rohm and Swaminathan, 2004). Based on the review of literature, time
saving orientation has a positive relationship on perceived usefulness and
therefore the following hypothesis is proposed.

 

H2.

Time
Saving Orientation is positively related to perceived usefulness.

 

IS continuance model

As
the current research will employ the ECM Model developed by Bhattacherjee
(2001) as its basic research framework, the following hypotheses are proposed.

 

H3.

The
extent of the confirmation of user expectations positively affects the
perceived usefulness of the OFD services.

 

H4.

The
extent of the confirmation of user expectations positively affects a user’s
satisfaction with the OFD services.

 

H5.

Perceived
usefulness positively affects user satisfaction with the OFD services.

 

H6.

Perceived
usefulness positively affects continuance intention to use the OFD services.

 

Satisfaction

 

Consumer satisfaction is defined as the extent of expectations and
perceived service or product performance in meeting what consumers need (Rezaei
et al., 2017). It is the core objective of maintaining customer relationship.
It eventually leads to the continuance intention or loyalty (Kedah et al.,
2016). Satisfaction refers to affective response and customers’ evaluation to
the process and overall experience of shopping online (Chiu et al., 2009). It
becomes an indispensable element for service-oriented business which includes
food delivery all around the world (Szymanski and Henard 2001). Oliver (1980)
proposes that satisfaction has a positive effect on the future intention. In
general, those repeated customers would be the satisfied with the product or
service provided by the sellers (Chiou et al., 2009). Many of the previous
studies validated the significant relationship between customer satisfaction
and continuance intention (Mittal and Kamakura, 2001; Oliver, 1997) and there
are empirical studies on IS continuance to support the major factor driven to
IS continuance intention is user satisfaction (Kim et al., 2009; Thong et al.,
2006). Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed:

 

H7.

User
satisfaction positively affects continuance intention to use the OFD services.

 

Trust

 

Trust is defined as “the
willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based
on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to
the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other
party” (Mayer et al, 1995, p. 712). It is the main factor in online business
(Jumin et al., 2017).

Trust has been broadly examined across various academic domains.
It has been defined as the user ‘s belief that the provider will behave
capably, ethically and benevolently (Chiu, Huang, & Yen, 2010). Trust would
occur when consumers have the confidence in an online exchange with an
organization or e-seller. Trust establishes superiority toward e-shopping and
customer trust toward an organization or e-seller has a significant and
positive effect on their satisfaction and loyalty intentions (Chiu et al.,
2009). The greater the feeling of trust, the greater the extent of satisfaction
consumers have toward an e-seller or an organization (Chiu et al., 2009).

 

Studies have also emphasized that satisfaction and repurchase
intention are associated with the establishment of customer trust toward online
shopping (Li et al., 2006). Consumers would spend more time shopping on e-shops
that they trust (Kim, Kim, & Park, 2010). Sharma and Patterson (1999)
proposed and validated that the level of relationship commitment is much higher
when consumers’ trust level on service the is high. Most relationship marketing
studies agree that trust has a positive influence on loyalty (Crosby et al.,
1990). Rezaei et al. (2017) interpret trust as “a dynamic process; trust can
only be built over a certain period of time, and it usually contributes to
customer satisfaction over and beyond the effects of the economic outcomes of
the relationships.” At
last, it will lead to satisfaction for the
consumers and afterwards, it facilitates continuous
intention of the consumers in the e-channel (Jaiswal et al., 2010). Based on the above, the following hypotheses are proposed:

 

H8.

Trust
is positively associated with satisfaction.

 

H9.

Trust
is positively associated with the continuous intention to engage in OFD
service.

 

3. Methodology

3.1 Research Setting

To test the aforementioned hypotheses, a quantitative study will
be conducted in Hong Kong. Most likely, the target respondents will be the
white collars. As data provided by UberEats (2017), the top three most popular
locations people use the OFD services at are all from the major business
centers in Hong Kong such as International Commerce Centre (ICC), Cheung Kong
Center as well as the One Island East.    

3.2 Data Collection

Web questionnaire will be used to collect data for this research.
It is chosen to be the method of collecting data as it provides various
advantages in which a large number of people could be approached easily and
cost could be lowered to distribute the questionnaire on the internet. The numbers
of questionnaire planned to distribute will be targeted to at least 300
respondents who have experienced ordering food via the smartphone OFD
applications or web OFD applications. To handle the sophisticated questions and
to distribute the questionnaire widely, utilizing online questionnaire will be
the most economical and efficient way to collect a large amount of data. After
collecting the data from the respondents, those data will be processed by the
PLS and SPSS for further data analysis and model measurements such as construct
validity and hypothesis testing.