Roy, V., Vijay, T. S., & Srivastava, A. (2021). The distinctive agenda of service failure recovery in e-tailing: Criticality of logistical/non-logistical service failure typologies and e-tailing ethics. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 64.


What is so different about executing service failure recovery in an online environment as in e-tailing?

Answering this, the present research points out to the need of considering e-tailing's natural propensity to foster multiple avenues of service failures which are either logistical or non-logistical in nature. Furthermore, given the distant location of the product, e-tailer, and the buyer, e-tailing is posed with risks of ethical transgressions. Therefore, by contextualizing on an Indian e-tailing scenario, we explore how service failure recovery in this challenging setting could be shaped. Justice building failure mitigation strategies such as response speed and compensation emerge to improve recovery efforts, however, apology seems to not work well in establishing justice to drive service failure recovery. Interestingly, an e-tailer's watchfulness toward the strengthening of its online ethics synergistically redeems recovery satisfaction, customer forgiveness, and positive word-of-mouth for the grieving consumer. This synergy can further mitigate the adverse impacts of service failure severity on recovery outcomes. Yet, a consumer having faced a severe service failure instance can have reservations in spreading positive word-of-mouth despite forgiving. Lastly, when considering logistical vs. non-logistical service failure typologies, the synergistic influence of e-tailing ethics and justice over recovery satisfaction becomes very strong in the case of non-logistical service failures.