Supply Chain Sustainability during COVID-19: Last Mile Food Delivery in China

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The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a strict 100-day lockdown period in Spring of 2020 in China. One of the consequences of the lockdown was the disruption of the food supply chain for the millions of people confined to their homes. The well-established online food delivery service (OFDS) in China were disrupted by pressure to scale up rapidly to resolve the last mile of food delivery. The importance of the OFDS during periods of crises became apparent, as did the realization that uninterrupted food distribution was only possible due to the presence and scalability of the existing delivery network. Focusing on the importance of an established OFDS as a foundation for food distribution, this paper seeks to explore factors that affect consumers’ perception and acceptance of the retail food delivery system in urban China. By applying the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB), mean value calculation, univariate linear regression, and multiple linear regression have been adopted to test the hypotheses. Data obtained online from 260 participants demonstrate that the software’s characteristics concerning hedonic motivation (HM), convenience motivation (CM), perceived ease of use (PEOU), navigational design (ND), information quality (IQ), privacy and security (PS), restaurant credibility (RC), and perceived severity (Psev) have positive and significant impacts on customers’ intention to use (ITU), and thus, affects the actual use (AU) of the application in a positive way. The findings of this research contribute to the existing literature by consolidating, validating, and extending the TPB model, especially under the large-scale public health crisis circumstances. Customized practical insights are provided to emphasize developing HM, CM, Psev, and RC factors with maximal marginal effects that promote consumer acceptance; this is a prerequisite to the development of a robust OFDS. which can be repurposed during periods of crises to provide sustainable last-mile food delivery networks.

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Sustainability (Switzerland)



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