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Chinese Consumers’ Perceptions of Cross-Border E-Commerce Retailer Attributes: A Scale Development and Validation Study




Huang, Xiao

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Consumer and Design Sciences

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) offers a new way for consumers to purchase foreign products online. China is the largest e-commerce market in the world and thus is a lucrative market for CBEC. However, no quantitative scale exists in the literature to assess consumers’ perceptions of CBEC retailers’ attributes, not to mention Chinese consumers’ perceptions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable psychometric scale that can be used to quantify consumers’ perceptions of CBEC retailer attributes, particularly in Chinese markets. A comprehensive literature review and an interview study were used to explore and specify the content domain of the construct (i.e., perceived CBEC retailer attributes) and to generate the initial list of the scale items for the construct. The qualitative studies, including literature review and interviews, revealed 13 potential sub-dimensions of CBEC retailer attributes organized under three main dimensions (i.e., merchandise, platform, and service), on which basis an initial pool of 85 items was created (i.e., 30 merchandise items, 30 platform items, and 25 service items). Then, two quantitative studies, including a preliminary study with a Chinese student sample (n = 244) and a main study with a Chinese national sample (n = 622), were conducted to purify and validate the scale. After a series of statistics analyses, including exploratory factor analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, as well as successful verifications of the convergent and discriminant validity, criterion and nomological validity, and internal consistency reliability, a scale with 7 dimensions and 30 items was finalized. The finalized scale addresses seven factors of perceived CBEC retailer attributes, including product quality & authenticity (6 items), product price (3 items), product variety (3 items), platform convenience (6 items), platform visual appeal (4 items), delivery & after-sales services (5 items), and communication (3 items). The valid and reliable scale developed in this study measuring consumers’ perceptions of CBEC retailer attributes provides timely academic and managerial implications that fill the need for a comprehensive and systematic way to quantify perceived CBEC retailer attributes. Thus, our scale may stimulate future CBEC consumer research. Further, this scale can be a useful tool for CBEC retailers to tap into consumers’ perspectives to help CBEC retailers identify areas for improvements to provide better customer experiences.