Consumer Trust in E-Commerce : An Analysis of Means Communicating Trustworthiness from a Buying Transaction Life Cycle Perspective

by Schultz, Carsten

Abstract (Summary)
Trust is a major challenge to the consumer acceptance of e-commerce: the lack of trust is an important reason for the hesitant growth in e-commerce and for the reluctance of consumers to engage in online buying transaction. Communicating trustworthiness is therefore a major challenge companies encounter. This study concentrates on the various means communicating trustworthiness proposed by researchers. An overview of means is presented according to a buying transaction process life cycle spanning the four phases information, agreement, handling, and postpurchase. Besides enabling the categorization of the various means to develop consumer trust, the four phases in addition illuminate the dynamic aspect of trust development and allow the introduction of a simple measure to determine success in the domain of e-commerce by evaluating the repetitiveness of consumer transacting with the e-vendor. A web site analysis was conducted to evaluate the trust means usage in practice. The findings of the web site analysis indicate three general trends. First, the analyzed web sites hint at an absent exploitation of second and third degree information. Second, the results of the study obtained from the indicators regarding the later phases portray a lack of means usage during the handling and postpurchase phase. Third, the web site analysis points out multiple possibilities for e-vendors to adjust, improve, and implement additional trust means. In general, the discovered trends are an indication for e-vendors to adopt their strategies to employ trust means towards the relevant consumer perspective of the company.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:trust e commerce trustworthiness means transaction


Date of Publication:02/27/2008

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