Edited by: Tecnológico Superior
Corporativo Edwards Deming
July - December Vol. 6 - 2 - 2022
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
Received: November 12, 2021
Approved: February 01, 2022
Page 75-83
Use of new technologies and their relationship
with the quality of service in the retail trade
Uso de nuevas tecnologías y su relación con la calidad de
servicio en el comercio minorista
Christian Bermúdez-Gallegos
In the last two years, due to the emergent sanitary
measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail
sector needed to evolve rapidly and many of them had to
incur in the use of new technologies in order not to lose
their customers. However, the literature recommends
contemplating their relationship with the quality of
customer service to minimize the investment risk.
Determining this relationship is the main objective of this
study within the context of the retail trade in the city of
Guayaquil. For this purpose, a quantitative paradigm with a
non-experimental design of descriptive and correlational
scope is used, with a transversal cut using a sample of 340
cases. A measurement instrument based on the
SERVQUAL model and adapted to the study context was
applied to them. The results show that consumers are
between 26 and 40 years old, more than half of them
consume food and non-alcoholic beverages, and 94% are
satisfied with the quality of service received. If there is a
relationship between the use of new technologies and the
quality of service, it is highlighted that empathy and tangible
elements present the smallest gap with respect to
consumer expectations; however, greater attention should
be paid to their responsiveness.
Keywords: Qualitative, descriptive, business
* Master, Profesor de la Universidad de Guayaquil, Ecuador.
christian.bermudezg@ug.edu.ec. ORCID: 0000-0003-2594-5046.
Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards Deming Vol. 6 - 2 - 2021 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
En los dos últimos años a causa de las medidas sanitarias emergente por la pandemia
COVID-19, el sector de comercio minorista necesitó evolucionar aceleradamente y
muchas incursionar en el uso de nuevas tecnologías para no perder a sus clientes. Sin
embargo, la literatura recomienda contemplar su relación con la calidad de servicio al
cliente para minimizar el riesgo de inversión. Determinar esta relación es el objetivo
principal de este estudio dentro del contexto del comercio minorista de la ciudad de
Guayaquil. Para esto, se acoge un paradigma cuantitativo con diseño no experimental de
alcance descriptivo y correlacional, con corte transversal empleando una muestra de
340 casos. A ellos, se aplicó un instrumento de medición basado en el modelo
SERVQUAL y adaptado al contexto de estudio. Los resultados reflejan que el
consumidor se encuentra entre 26 y 40 años, más de la mitad consume alimentos y
bebidas no alcohólicas, y el 94% se encuentra satisfecho con la calidad de servicio
recibido. Si existe relación entre el uso de nuevas tecnologías y la calidad de servicio; se
resalta que la empatía y los elementos tangibles presentan la menor brecha con respecto
a la expectativa del consumidor, sin embargo, deben prestar mayor atención a su
capacidad de respuesta.
Palabras clave: Cualitativa, descriptiva, empresa
This research uses two variables in the field of business administration, on the one hand,
we have the quality of service, which has been well developed by researchers and
marketing professionals; and, on the other hand, the use of new technologies that
currently facilitates the constant communication of companies with their consumers.
In the last two decades, the retail perspective has evolved thanks to the growth of the
Internet and the development of new technologies that facilitate the creation of new
channels that modify consumer shopping habits and behavior, from viewing products on
the web in the comfort of their home, to using digital devices as in-store shopping
assistants (Juaneda, Mosquera & Sierra, 2016; Nielsen, 2016).
According to the World Economic Forum, the number of technological devices
connected to the Internet exceeds the number of people, reflecting a surplus vertical
increase since the entry into the fourth digital generation (Cutten & Cousins, 2021). In
Ecuador, almost 67% of companies have invested in information and communication
technologies, with the highest investment being in the commerce sector with around
74% according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC, 2015). In other
words, new technologies are considered a fundamental resource for companies not only
to maintain effective communication with their customers but also to identify their
behavior and activity patterns in order to generate adequate information and key
elements for decision making in strategic areas of the organization (Cutten & Cousins,
Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards Deming Vol. 6 - 2 - 2021 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
However, Cano (2018) mentioned three fundamental aspects for its implementation to
generate positive effects in the organization: to have deep knowledge of the company's
processes, to plan in detail the information technology needs, to incorporate new
technologies gradually from the most basic.
Undoubtedly, the Customer Service area is strategic for any organization, responsible
for building customer loyalty, since a satisfied customer is not very sensitive to offers
from competitors (Mateos, 2019), is willing to pay a higher price and becomes a
spokesperson for the company (Fernandez, 2014). However, today they are more
demanding in their demand, because new technologies favor them in several aspects
such as: efficient search for offers in national and international markets, interconnection
with peers to share shopping experiences, similar product and service features. Aspects
that make the quality of service, a preceding factor of customer satisfaction (Molina,
2008), a determinant of competitiveness, maintenance and survival of the organization
(Sánchez-Hernández, Castro, Juárez, & Rivas, 2011).
There is extensive marketing literature on this factor applied to large and medium-sized
companies from different productive sectors in terms of background, dimensions and
measurements (Vieira, 2010). This, has allowed obtaining standardized measurement
instruments such as SERVQUAL, SERVPERF, HiEdQUAL, Six Sigma, Image Model,
Servuction, 4Q Model (Oliva & Gómez, 2014). In addition, authors emphasize the
application of the SERVQUAL model as a valid instrument to evaluate the relationship
of the use of information technologies with the perception of service quality (Contreras
& Martínez, 2017; Moros, 2010; Servera, Gil & Fuentes, 2009). Some considering the use
of ICTs as a moderating variable of the relationship and others as a predictor variable,
but both with positive results on the perception of service quality.
However, for retail trade there are limited efforts to study this relationship between
variables (Gil, Ruiz & Calderón, 2009; Molina, 2008; Vieira, 2010), which conclude that
not all technological applications are valued equally by customers in the different sectors
of retail activity. On the other hand, the authors warn of the danger of overinvestment
in technology, with quality of service and customer satisfaction being fundamental
indicators for determining the appropriate level of technology. In this sense, studies have
been conducted to analyze satisfaction with web sites, the technology of service
companies, and distribution logistics. In the end, researchers suggest the need to
continue with field research, especially with specific technological development and a
certain type of establishment (Gil, Ruiz & Calderón, 2009).
Therefore, this research will determine the relationship between the use of new
technologies and the quality of service in commercial retail companies, since it is
observed that adapting technology to the customer's needs will provide a better
perception of service quality, a result that is expected to be confirmed with the data
collected in the field of study.
Retail trade is defined as the retail trade of products. Some authors define the retailer
as the intermediary between the consumer and the supplier (Vieira, 2010), the one that
is not part of a base company and the owner makes the main management decisions
Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards Deming Vol. 6 - 2 - 2021 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
(Davies & Harris, 1990). Also, it refers to businesses with activities of selling goods and
services directly to the final consumer for personal use (Kotler & Keller, 2016). In
addition, a retailer is a business whose highest volume sales come primarily from retailing
(Armstrong, Kotler, Merino, & Pintado, 2011).
On the other hand, authors Praharsi, Wee, Sukwadi and Padilan (2014), refer to retail
as a chain of stores that are in cooperation with modern management techniques such
as supermarkets, hypermarkets and minimarkets. These are made up of two or more
outlets and centralize their purchases to take advantage of better volume prices
(Armstrong et al., 2011).
According to the way in which the retailer approaches the customer to offer its
products, De Vicuña (2008) grouped the retailer into four categories: traditional trade,
where the owner directly sells and dispatches; self-service, when the product is on
hangers and is paid at a cash register at the exit of the premises; automatic sale, with the
use of product vending machines; and online sale, through digital technologies such as a
website. Likewise, according to the qualities of the type of commerce performed, Kotler
and Keller (2016) classified into six categories: specialized establishments, department
stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and parapharmacies, and low-
price retailers.
In summary, the literature offers definitions and categories for this productive activity
that can be carried out by an individual or a group of establishments in joint cooperation
to achieve competitiveness with large organizations, as well as the proliferation of
suburban shopping centers and discount stores. Its current scope transcends borders,
with the use of new technologies, supported by the global Internet platform, which
facilitates the distribution of its products or services, not only to an immediate
geographical environment, but also at an international level.
Globally, according to the 2021 report on the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development shows that, despite the decline in global gross domestic product declined
to 4.3% in 2020, global retail trade increased 3% even though the retail trade index in
the first half of the year showed a historical drop of 10.5 points below the average
(Eustat, 2021). The confinement due to the pandemic accelerated the digital
transformation through greater use of digital media overcoming the barriers of e-
commerce, which led to an increase in online sales worldwide. The leaders in this sector
are Amazon with a year-on-year growth of 34.8% by 2020, JD.com with 27.6% and
Lowe's with 24.2%. In Latin America, MercadoLibre more than doubled its deliveries per
day by 2020 compared to the previous year (Deloitte, 2021).
In Ecuador, statistics reflected in a study conducted by the Ecuadorian Chamber of E-
Commerce indicate that 13 out of every 100 respondents started shopping online and
54% reported an increase in their purchase frequency since the COVID-19 emergency.
They use new technologies to purchase their products such as messaging by WhatsApp
49%, mobile applications 44%, and by websites 35%. Among the most consumed
products are food and non-alcoholic beverages 67%, medicine and health products 50%,
prepared food in restaurants 42%. The means of payment selected are credit or debit
Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards Deming Vol. 6 - 2 - 2021 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
card 61%; and cash or bank transfer 37%. 55% of users have experienced that new
technologies are useful for these transactions, assuring that they will continue shopping
online after the pandemic by 40% and that they will increase their purchases by this
means by 40% (CECE, 2020).
Other figures indicate that 46% of retailers in Ecuador are willing to change their
modality of work towards e-commerce, but the lack of knowledge of the correct
implementation and proper use of new technologies causes insecurity in meeting the
quality expectations demanded by their customers and consequently disturbing their
customer loyalty. This aspect can negatively affect the relationship between the variables
of this study, which justifies the need to verify what type of relationship exists between
the variables in the Ecuadorian context. For this, data will be collected in the city of
Guayaquil because more than 75% of international trade transits through the Guayas
River and the city's port (CCG, 2019). The research is carried out in the following
phases: survey of the marketing literature referring to the two variables previously
mentioned; field study using the SERVQUAL model measurement instrument adapted
to the context; and data analysis in two stages, one descriptive and the other inferential,
where the relationship between the variables is tested. The results will help retailers to
develop better strategies for the use of new technologies in their businesses in order to
ensure the quality of service expected by their customers.
This research is developed from the quantitative approach, starting from the literature
review, data collection and analysis to contrast previously established hypotheses. It
relies on numerical measurement and counting, and by means of statistical methods,
patterns of behavior in a population are accurately established (Hernández, Fernández
& Baptista, 2003).
Likewise, the scope of the study will be descriptive and correlational. Because it seeks
to describe the properties, characteristics and profile of the consumer, and on the other
hand it tries to verify the relationship between the use of new technologies with the
perception of the quality of service.
The research design is non-experimental, since the independent variable was not
deliberately manipulated, but the consumer was observed in the use of new technologies
and his perception of the quality of service received. According to Hernández et al.
(2003) this type is classified as documentary and field, the latter being the one used for
data collection by means of the cross-sectional survey technique. The population
considered is the economically active citizens of Guayaquil who are consumers of retail
trade, who were identified with a question in the survey. Considering a 5% sampling
error and a confidence level of 95%, a sample of 384 cases was obtained. These were
collected over a four-week period, using an online survey using digital tools because
people spent much of their time in COVID-19 pandemic confinement. Online surveys
generate quick responses, but with a low participation rate of less than 10% (Smee &
Brennan, 2000), which is why it was disseminated through various media such as mailings,
Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards Deming Vol. 6 - 2 - 2021 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
paid social media campaigns, and instant messaging contacts. In addition, compensatory
measures such as expanding the sample, sending reminders, an attractive design Madge
The measurement instrument has content validity in the literature since it is based on
the SERVQUAL theoretical model and adapted to the study context. It was revised in
its structure and wording by three researchers in administrative sciences and tested in
a pilot survey of 30 people. The observations collected were adapted to the
questionnaire consisting of four sections: (1) type of business; (2) perception of the use
of new technologies, such as websites, social networks, instant messaging and mobile
applications; (3) perception and expectations of service quality measured on a 7-point
Likert scale, from 1: strongly disagree to 7: strongly agree; and (4) demographic data of
the respondent. The instrument was validated for internal consistency by means of
Cronbach's alpha index, giving a result of 0.8, which reflects high reliability. In detail for
the dimensions of service quality, we obtained: tangible elements 0.8, reliability 0.7,
responsiveness 0.7, security 0.8, and empathy 0.99.
For the analysis of the data collected, a descriptive phase and a correlational phase are
described below. In the descriptive phase, frequency tables were generated to obtain
the profile of the consumer and the study variables. It was found that 43% of the
respondents were between 26 and 40 years old, and 37% between 18 and 25 years old.
The three types of businesses of which they consume are food and non-alcoholic
beverages 57%, miscellaneous items, technology and clothing 10%, household appliances
On the other hand, the arithmetic means of the service quality dimensions of perception
and expectation were calculated, obtaining the following gaps: tangible elements 0.02,
reliability 0.32, responsiveness 0.88, security 0.25, and empathy 0.10. This indicates that
merchants should pay more attention to efficient customer service, use of technology,
self-service, online chat. The dimensions in which expectations are met are tangible
elements and empathy.
From the inferential point of view, hypotheses for each variable of the perception of the
use of new technologies with the dimensions of the quality of service are presented as
H1a: There is a relationship between the use of websites and tangible elements.
H1b: There is a relationship between the use of social networks and tangible elements.
H1c: There is a relationship between the use of instant messaging and tangible items.
H1d: There is a relationship between the use of mobile applications and tangible elements.
The Rho Spearman coefficient was used to test the hypotheses, since it is a measure of
ordinal relationship that analyzes the degree of dependence between two qualitative
random variables, its value ranges between -1 and 1, indicating whether or not a
relationship exists.
At a theoretical significance level of 5% and a reliability level of 95%, Rho Spearman
coefficients between 0.157 and 0.389 were obtained, i.e. low values of correlation