The effect of type of company doing home delivery during a pandemic on consumers’ quality perceptions and behavior

Reza Movarrei*, Sara Rezaee Vessal, Saeedeh Rezaee Vessal, Jaakko Aspara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers increasingly opt for, or are forced to, use home delivery services. The authors study retailers' decisions regarding “delivery mode”, which is about outsourcing (vs. insourcing) the delivery service to a traditional delivery company or an unbranded carrier and its effects on consumers' perceived overall quality, perceived hygienic quality, and subsequently, willingness to stay with the firm beyond the pandemic.

A pre-test, an experiment and a post-test were conducted with participants from the UK (Total N = 380).

The results of this study show that (1) in a pandemic, perceived hygienic quality overshadows perceived service quality as a key determinant of consumers' choices, and (2) while consumers have a relatively negative view of the hygienic level of unbranded carriers, they do not differentiate between traditional delivery carriers and retailer-branded carriers. Thus, they are equally interested in using the services of the latter ones.

This study shows that during a health crisis, consumers change their hierarchy of motivations to reflect the new protection motivations. The authors usher perceived hygienic quality as a variable that should be seriously considered as both a tactical and a strategic variable affecting the attractiveness of alternative home delivery methods and consumers' intentions to continue using them after the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 20.12.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • last-mile delivery
  • retail
  • COVID-19
  • quality perception
  • hygienic quality


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