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Metaverse-retail service quality: A future framework for retail service quality in the 3D internet

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Abstract:

This study argues that service quality in retailing in 3D Collaborative Virtual Environments (aka Metaverses) is distinct from service quality in the more familiar 2D, mainly menu-driven, web internet store (e-SQ) and conceptualises the determinants of Metaverse Retailing service quality (MR-SQ) through a combination of focus groups and Critical Incident Technique with current users of Metaverse retail stores. The emerging set of four overarching determining elements of MR-SQ includes customer service, product dimension, store dimension and a 3D platform dimension. While some of these features are found in 2D e-SQ others are unique to MR-SQ such as human contact, emotional expressiveness, virtual trial and fantasy products, in addition to the 3D platform features. Thus, the CVE/Metaverse context presents opportunities for retailers to enhance social experience, responsive service and creative co-production opportunities. The study provides a framework for guidance for retailers to improve service quality in 3D Metaverse stores, as well as for future research.

Keywords: Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs); MR-service quality; Metaverse retailing; Metaverses; Second Life; avatars; critical incident technique (CIT)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2013.835742

Affiliations: 1: Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK, 2: Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK, 3: Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK,

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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