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Besides significant benefits, the trend of e-commerce development gives rise to a lot of challenges in terms of developing trust between the company and the consumer. A lack of trust leads to withdrawal from e-transactions. The paper is thus aimed at identifying and explaining the most important factors that affect the increase in users' trust in e-transactions. Besides an analysis of available papers in this area, a field research was conducted on a sample of 512 respondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to develop a structural model of users' trust in e-transactions. Research findings confirm that the basic factors of an online trust model are: website usability, privacy, security, expected product performance, loyalty, and electronic management of customer relations (e-CRM).
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Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
Almir Peštek1
Emina Res UDK 004.7:339.1>:336.12
Maja Nožica Preliminary paper
Prethodno priopćenje
Besides significant benefits, the trend of e-commerce development gives rise to a lot of
challenges in terms of developing trust between the company and the consumer. A lack of
trust leads to withdrawal from e-transactions. The paper is thus aimed at identifying and
explaining the most important factors that affect the increase in users' trust in e-transactions.
Besides an analysis of available papers in this area, a field research was conducted on a
sample of 512 respondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to develop a structural model
of users' trust in e-transactions. Research findings confirm that the basic factors of an online
trust model are: website usability, privacy, security, expected product performance, loyalty,
and electronic management of customer relations (e-CRM).
Key words: e-transactions, e-commerce, trust
In recent years, we have witnessed the growth in popularity and importance of e-
commerce. E-commerce stands for any financial transaction that has been carried out
electronically. It has become an important factor in international business and includes
purchase and sale of all types of goods or services over the internet. E-commerce has enabled
customers and producers around the world to meet in virtual marketplaces and complete
transactions more efficiently. The internet and related technologies erase boundaries in terms
of time and space and provide organizations with enormous business opportunities, and on the
other hand consumers have more choice.
Besides all the benefits that it brings to consumers, e-commerce also brings many
complex problems which are closely related to ethical and legal issues. The exposure to
multiple merchants and many options from around the world, together with new infrastructure
for e-commerce leads to an increased risk. In the dynamic environment of e-commerce, many
consumers are indeed faced with information overload and uncertainty. Lack of trust in online
payment, privacy issues and adequate services created a psychological barrier when it comes
to e-commerce. A key of success is not just a presence on the internet, or low price, but also
the quality of the entire service, including interaction before, during and after the transaction.
Evidence suggests that consumers often hesitate to transact with web-based vendors
because of uncertainty about vendor behavior or the perceived risk of having personal
information stolen by hackers. Trust plays a central role in helping consumers overcome
perceptions of risk and insecurity (McKnight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002).
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo, Trg
Oslobođenja A.Izetbegović 1, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Quantitative Economics, School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo,
Trg Oslobođenja A.Izetbegović 1, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 Account Executive, Mark In doo, Milana Preloga 19, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
E- transaction is an electronic exchange of values. All transactions have a degree of
uncertainty about their outcome, and buyers cannot accurately predict whether a transaction
will be fulfilled successfully. Successful fulfillment typically suggests that a seller delivers a
product identical to the one promised, does so in a timely manner, and honors refund and
product guarantees. In contrast, there are numerous possibilities that a transaction may not be
fulfilled successfully due to seller or product quality uncertainty. For example, sellers can
collect payment but not deliver a product (fraud), deliver a product that differs from the one
advertised (lower quality, expired, or counterfeit products), refuse to accept payment and send
a product (contract default), prolong product delivery, fail to acknowledge return, refund, and
product guarantee policies, sell the buyer’s private information or not protect the buyer’s
monetary information, among others. Due to these numerous adverse possibilities, buyers are
rightfully concerned about the "downsides" of an online transaction (Pavlou, Liang & Xue,
2007). In the context of internet shopping, risk is a relevant situational parameter in that (1)
there is uncertainty about the outcome of an internet shopping transaction, (2) the outcome
depends on the behavior of the internet merchant, which is not within the consumer’s purview
and control, and (3) the harm of an undesirable outcome may be greater than the benefits of a
successful outcome (Lee & Turban, 2001).
Given that e-transactions include already mentioned uncertainty for the consumer,
trust is the main condition for exchange (Ribbink et al, 2004). Feeling safe while performing
transactions over the internet requires a high level of trust in e-merchant. Therefore, building
trust in e-transactions is very important and represents a major challenge.
There are many definitions of online trust. Online trust is when a consumer has
confidence in an e-merchant’s reliability and integrity to perform online transactions
successfully (Angriawan & Thakur, 2008). This definition implies that the e-merchant has the
ability to conduct business activities online, that he will not abuse sensitive information, and
that he will deliver products or services as promised. Trust is defined as a buyer’s intentions
to accept vulnerability based on his beliefs that transactions with a seller will meet his
confident transaction expectations due to the seller’s competence, integrity, and benevolence
(Pavlou, Liang & Xue, 2007). Trust is discussed in the literature as a trait embedded in the
person that touches on one’s ability to tolerate a certain amount of risk when engaging in a
transaction with another party (Sutanonpaiboon & Abuhamdieh, 2008).
E-merchants must act in the best possible way to overcome consumer perception of
uncertainty and risk by building trust, not only on their web sites but also in the wider internet
environment. This includes strict elimination of all activities which adversely affect
consumers and prevent them from performing e-transactions.
Trusted websites can provide customers with a secure and private online shopping
experience. These sites could alleviate customers’ concerns about the leakage, unauthorized
collection, or the misuse of their private information, promote deep customer loyalty, and help
the companies build a positive relationship with their customers while increasing their market
share and profits (Lauer & Deng, 2007). Unfamiliar websites need to establish their
trustworthiness, so that the customer will linger. Security seals, reassuring brand logos and
privacy policies are cues customers use (Petre, Minocha & Roberts, 2006).
Ethics plays an important role in e-transactions and online trust. An essential element
of ethics is the establishment of trust. However, trust among strangers who need to perform e-
transaction is something that is very difficult to accomplish. Unfair business practices lead to
serious violations of consumer trust. Fraud, lack of concern about the security of e-
transactions and skepticism are very frequent in e-commerce. Respect and adherence to rules
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
and protocols online are an exception (Miller, 2005). Awareness of the importance of
establishing ethical conduct is quite high, mainly because the rule of law and its enforcement
still lag behind technological developments. The creation of rules of ethical conduct
corresponding to the chosen values enables conduct to be regulated. Amongst the ethical
factors likely to be of importance, it would appear that assuring e-consumer’s privacy,
security and e-merchant’s accountability would be necessary to build and maintain confidence
in conducting business in the e-market (Avshalom, Avshalom & Arik, 2007).
There are multiple, interrelated dimensions of e-commerce trust. Thus, trust as a
willingness to depend on a vendor to deliver on commitments is not the same as trust as a
belief that the vendor uses consumer data ethically, or the same as trust as a perception that
the internet is technologically secure (McKnight, Choudhury & Kacmar, 2002). Therefore,
each dimension of trust differentially affects the consumer attitudes, as well as the positive or
negative shopping behavior. If all dimensions of trust were present, every purchase over the
internet would be perfect.
Information privacy concerns and information security concerns make buyers
skeptical about online transactions (George, 2002), and they have been viewed as two major
barriers to e-commerce adoption (Hoffman, Novak & Peralta, 1999; Rose, Khoo & Straub,
1999). The most important factors for the development of online trust are: website usability,
privacy, security, expected product performance, loyalty and electronic customer relationship
management (e-CRM) (Angriawan & Thakur, 2008).
3.1. Website usability
Simply put, website usability represents the ease of use. Usability has been defined as
"the extent to which a system can be used by specified users to achieve a specified goal with
effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use" (Petre, Minacha &
Roberts, 2006). Perceived website usefulness, ease of use and security are significant
antecedents of initial trust. (Koufaris & Hampton-Sosa, 2004).
Effective website usability provides a mechanism and information for consumers and
helps them to reduce uncertainty. According to this, the website should provide clear
information, recommendations and healthy tips, not promises which cannot be kept. In the
context of e-commerce, company website is the primary interaction method for the consumer.
A high quality website is important because it allows the first contact between e-merchants
and users and it is a crucial element in creating the first impression. If users recognize the
quality of a certain website, they will assume that e-merchant has positive features and the
trust building process will be able to start. On the other hand, inadequate design, slow website
loading, various errors and poor navigation greatly affect online trust.
The first impression is very important. Therefore, many companies, engaged in online
business, pay special attention to website design and development (Petre, Minacha & Roberts,
2006). Three factors that can be linked to website design are: reliability, persuasiveness and
credibility (Tamimi & Sebastianelli, 2007).
If the website does not support the basic technical assumption - fast loading, users will
access it with great difficulty which, in most cases, leads to their withdrawal. Many e-
merchants are over-using elements that may cause slow website loading. Website loading is
closely linked to the site design, given that the design includes the use of images and other
files which, although they serve for the website to look good, greatly slow down its loading.
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
Therefore, it is very important to establish a balance between use of these mentioned elements
and an acceptable length of website loading.
Website errors are part of daily life. Although they do not seem to be a serious and
complex problem, their impact on building trust is significant. They prevent e-merchants to
adequately present themselves and their products, and they also do not allow consumers to
make purchases via the internet. The most common website errors are primarily website
incompleteness (the lack of contact information), use of illegible letters, variegation, use of
unnecessary images (and other files), use of hidden and nonexistent links, unnecessary pop-up
windows, etc.
When a user visits a certain website and when it is not possible for him to inspect it
logically, he will surely give up and leave. Negative characteristics of navigation are mainly
reflected in the excessive complexity, inconsistency and poor organization, which greatly
affect user trust.
3.2. Privacy
In the context of conventional transactions, there is a certain amount of risk involved
for the consumer who, for example, may be uncertain about the quality or the durability of a
product purchased. However, when it comes to e-transactions, the biggest privacy risk is
based on the possibility of another’s opportunistic acquisition and use of this personal
information. (Dinev & Hart, 2006). E-transactions almost always require the exchange of
sensitive personal and financial information. E-transactions involve highly delicate
information that consumers will not share with e-merchants if they believe that it will invade
their privacy. No information is secure and no institution is immune to the possibility of abuse
(Caldwell, 2005). Therefore, privacy is an extremely important issue for the development of
online trust. It requires lots of security mechanisms and technological control. Privacy is
about a merchant’s policies on customer information management. The merchant’s
information management can include usage tracking and data collection, choice, and the
sharing of information with third parties (Belanger, Hiller & Smith, 2002). The main privacy
problems are related to data collection, third party data collection, data storage, data sharing
and marketing communication (Pollach, 2007). Unfortunately, many companies are abusing
consumer information in order to make a profit, which consumers consider to be direct
invasion of their privacy. (Culnan & Armstrong, 1999).
It is clear that consumers do not trust sellers who are not able to protect their
information or who cannot adequately manage them. Trust mediates the relationship between
privacy and behavioral intention to make an online transaction (Liu et al, 2004). As
technologies for data collection and analyzing are becoming more sophisticated, the concern
for privacy among consumers constantly grows.
Online privacy concerns the focus on the protection of important consumer
information such as name, address, telephone number and financial information. In order to
build consumer trust, e-merchants should strongly indicate that collected information at their
websites would be used in a fair and responsible manner. Many e-merchants comply and have
privacy policies on their websites in order to inform consumers about consumer information
management. Although e-merchants behave fairly in this case, ethical behavior cannot be
claimed for a third party that may arise in the process. This situation puts the emphasis on the
security issue, which will be discussed later.
A factor that greatly affects consumer trust online is the level of control they have over
their data (Hoffman, Novak & Peralta, 1999). Therefore, it is very important for consumers to
perceive a certain company as credible and to recognize its true efforts to protect their data.
To achieve this goal, many companies upgrade their rules with various privacy seals. The
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
more belief consumers have in a company, the more likely they are to do shopping on its
website, visit it again or recommend it to others.
3.3. Security
E-commerce security issues are related to e-merchants’ abilities to protect their online
transaction systems. Consumers must be convinced that the company has the ability and
willingness to protect their financial information from security vulnerabilities in order for e-
commerce to reach full potential. (Pavlou, Liang & Xue, 2007). Information security is
considered the most critical concern for those who do not purchase online (Yang & Jun,
2002). Security threats include destruction, disclosure, modification of data, denial of service,
and/or fraud and abuse (Kalakota & Whinston, 1996).
Security refers to confidentiality and completeness of personal information, computer
security, web and e-mail traffic secrecy. In order to achieve a certain level of security, it is
necessary to install some protection programs. It is clear that information cannot travel
directly from sender to recipient, but rather via various network nodes, which in turn can lead
to message interception. Among other things, encryption systems are very important because
they convert data into encrypted form before sending them over the internet, which prevents
unauthorized access. Secure transaction methods using encryption and other technologies
have existed for some time, yet the perceived risk of internet transactions is still significant
(Salam et al, 2005). The mere installation of modern safety programs is not sufficient for a
satisfactory security level because it is known that no security system can be 100% foolproof.
There must also be a certain amount of knowledge in the form of IT literacy and awareness in
order to successfully avoid many suspicious situations on the internet that could greatly
impair the users’ safety (opening unsafe and hazardous sites and giving personal data, running
suspicious programs, opening e-mails from unknown senders).
3.4. Expected product performance
Online, customers can’t look a sales clerk in the eye, can’t size up the physical space
of a store or office, and can’t see and touch products. They have to rely on images and
promises, and if they don’t trust the company presenting those images and promises, they’ll
shop elsewhere. (Reichheld & Schefter, 2000). Therefore, e-merchants’ integrity (which is
closely linked to reputation) is of great importance and forms the basis for this factor.
Consumers, in some way, identify e-merchant’s integrity with product performance because,
since they cannot see the product in person, e-merchant claims are the only information they
can get.
3.5. Loyalty
Loyalty is defined as a customer’s preference towards an e-merchant that results in
repeat buying behavior (Srinivasan, Anderson, & Ponnavolu, 2002). Loyal customers are
considered extremely valuable for e-commerce, and loyalty is generally associated with
higher levels of service quality (Ribbink et al, 2004).
Loyalty is primarily manifested through the increased number of e-transaction,
openness toward new products and participation in programs that require more personal (and
other) information. The more online trust consumers have, the higher level of loyalty can be
created. Although technology plays a role of great importance, technology alone is not enough
to build loyalty; loyalty is achieved through superior shopping experience.
Building superior customer loyalty is no longer just one of many ways to boost profits.
Today it is essential for survival (Reichheld & Schefter, 2000).
3.6. Electronic customer relationship management (E-CRM)
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
E-CRM refers to the marketing activities, tools and techniques delivered via the
internet which includes e-mail, world wide web, chat room, e-forums etc. bearing on locating,
building and improving long-term customer relationships (Lee-Kelley, Gilbert & Mannicom,
2003). It is a general strategy supported by information technology which assists companies
to build powerful, personalized and mutually beneficial relationship, increase conversion rate,
and achieve more efficient sales.
One of the reasons for the great popularity of e-CRM is the fact that digital channels,
besides e-transactions, may also provide a unique positive shopping experience. The high
level of interaction is another feature of e-CRM that greatly helps companies to properly
respond to customer requests or problems and to achieve and maintain long-term relationship.
The basis of e-CRM is to enable an organization to treat each customer as an individual,
which is a goal that is very difficult to achieve. E-merchants serve a wide range of consumers
and good individual relationship with each of them can be very important. It has already been
proven that e-CRM has positive effects on customer retention and customer share
development (Verhoef, 2003). It is also clear that different types of interaction provide
different levels of trust (Angriawan & Thakur, 2008). CRM strategies such as personalization,
one-to-one marketing, reliability, customer-control and efficient customer services aim to
maximize customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty and, hence, profitability for the
organization (Petre, Minocha & Roberts, 2006).
The goal of this study was to understand and explain factors that have the greatest
influence on users in carrying out e-transactions and to define a model of trust in e-
The authors conducted the research among Internet users in Bosnia and Herzegovina
in February 2010.
The questionnaire was developed by the authors based on research by Angriawan and
Thakur's (2008). It included multiple-choice questions (two questions) expressing attitude
rating from 1 to 5, where 1 means „strongly disagree“ and 5 „strongly agree“ (19 questions),
two open-ended questions, as well as five questions related to socio-demographic status.
Data were collected using GoogleDocs, whereby a link with the survey was sent to
1,000 e-mail addresses in two waves. A total of 512 responses was collected; i.e. the rate of
response was 51.2%.
4.1. Sample structure
The sample structure by various socio-demographic characteristics is shown in the
following table.
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
Table 1. Sample structure
Socio-demographic characteristics %
Gender Male 45.5
Female 54.5
Up to 25 62.1
26-35 25.6
36-45 7.6
46-55 3.9
Over 55 0.8
College 9.8
High-school 34.8
University-educated 51.7
Master or PhD 3.7
Up to 250 EUR 39.8
250-500 EUR 24.0
500-750 EUR 19.3
750-1000 EUR 10.5
More than 1000 EUR 6.3
In terms of sample structure, it is obvious that sample is representative in terms of
gender and heterogeneous in all other socio-demographic aspects. The sample structure by
income reflects the standard of living in the B-H society.
4.2. Variables and constructs analyzed in the research
The basis for developing the questionnaire used for the research is Angriawan and
Thakur's (2008) model, which classifies factors affecting trust in e-transactions into five
categories: website usability, privacy, security, expected product performance, loyalty, and e-
CRM, which was explained in the second section of the paper.
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
The research used the following variables - constructs:
o website usability (construct that includes 5 manifest variables),
o privacy (construct including 3 manifest variables),
o security (construct made up of 2 manifest variables),
o expected product performance (construct made up of 2 manifest variables), and
o electronic customer relation management, i.e. e-CRM.
Besides, the research tracked other variables related to the described constructs.
The importance of each of them was examined in order to understand whether the
listed factors affect online trust and loyalty, to what extent and whether their improvement
may increase users' trust in e-transactions and ensure their loyalty.
In order to determine and test correlations between the obtained ratings for the
importance of individual constructs, the following research hypotheses were defined:
1. There is a positively-directed correlation between website usability and online
2. There is a positively-directed correlation between expected product performance
and online trust.
3. There is a positively-directed correlation between privacy and online trust.
4. There is a positively-directed correlation between security and online trust.
5. There is a positively-directed correlation between online trust and loyalty.
6. There is a positively-directed correlation between online trust and e-CRM.
Research results reveal that 55% respondents do not carry out e-transactions, and state
the following reasons for that: lack of security when paying, threat to privacy, i.e. access to
personal data, poorly organized and over-complicated website, lack of face-to-face
interaction, and impossibility to check the product’s physical characteristics before delivery,
as well as lack of information. What is interesting is that many respondents also describe the
impossibility of control, i.e. bigger spending when purchasing over the internet than by
traditional shopping as a reason for not carrying out e-transactions.
Research results also show that 45% respondents actually carry out e-transactions,
most frequently purchases, sales, and e-banking. The reasons stated include simplicity, speed
and greater availability. In terms of frequency, 12% respondents carry out e-transactions a few
times a week, 11% respondents carry out transactions once a week and considers them an
easier way than the traditional one. A total of 29% respondents ventures on e-transactions
once a month, mostly when it comes to paying bills online or monthly grocery purchasing,
while 19% do so once a year. The remaining 29% refer to respondents whose e-transactions
vary too much due to, for instance, money they have at the moment or changes in opinion and
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
5.1. Descriptive statistics
The following table shows the descriptive statistics parameters we observed for the
questionnaire questions (as separate variables).
Table 2. Descriptive statistics4
Descriptive statistics parameters min ma
x averag
TRUST Trust in the company seller is
important in case of e-transactions. 1 5 4.63 0.84
Company – seller’s website usability
(ease of use) is important in case of e-
1 5 4.42 0.84
My first impression depends on the
website design.
1 5 3.75 1.06
Slow website loading results in giving up
the browsing.
1 5 3.73 1.10
Poor navigation results in my giving
browsing up.
1 5 3.72 1.06
Website should provide information that
help decrease uncertainty related to e-
1 5 4.60 0.76
Privacy in important in case of e-
1 5 4.81 0.63
Distrust in e-transactions increases with
the possibility of sharing my sensitive
information with a third party.
1 5 4.56 0.85
The stricter the rules on online privacy,
the greater chances of my carrying out the
1 5 4.43 0.85
Security is important in case of e-
1 5 4.85 0.55
I feel insecure when exchanging sensitive
information over the internet due to
potential abuse.
1 5 4.19 1.06
I would not carry out e-transaction
because I am not able to see the product
until the moment of delivery.
1 5 3.06 1.25
Company –seller’s integrity affects
building of my online trust. 1 5 4.26 0.84
Online trust is the basic factor for
building loyalty to company - seller.
1 5 3.98 1.06
Online trust increases through a
personalized relationship with the
company - seller.
1 5 4.13 0.94
4 Questions that directly express the importance of individual factors are bolded in the table.
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
Online trust is viewed as a key differentiating factor that determines the success or
failure of internet-based operation. Most users are not willing to approve access to sensitive
data to a company they do not trust. It is perfectly understandable, since users fear abuses and
frauds. For this reason, it is crucial for users to trust both in the positive outcome of an e-
transaction and in the company’s ability to protect their data from a third party. The average
rating of the importance of online trust on a scale from 1 to 5 is 4.63. It can be observed that a
high percentage of respondents (79% of them) rated this factor with 5. It proves that trust is of
great importance for users in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that an e-transaction will not occur
in case there is no trust. Companies should act the best they can in order to overcome users’
perception of insecurity and risk. This implies strict elimination of any activities that affect
users negatively and directly prevent them from carrying out e-transactions.
In the context of e-commerce, the company’s website is the main way of interaction.
From the described attitudes, we can see that the average rating that dictates the importance of
website usability is 4.42, which means that users definitely pay attention to website quality,
which in turn helps them to perceive the company’s seriousness and starts the process of trust
building. Presented results clearly reveal that an efficient website can indeed generate trust.
Good navigation, fast loading, design and providing all the necessary information make up
the elements of website usability, and the following analysis shows which of them are
decisive for respondents:
o Respondents’ views show that information on the website is a usability element
they pay the greatest attention to. The average rating on providing information that
helps decrease uncertainty is high, and amounts to 4.6. Thus, we can conclude that
it is very important for a website to be complete and without errors.
o With respect to poor navigation, the average rating is 3.72 and although it is
comparatively high, we expected it to be even higher due to all the collected data
on this problem. In any case, users give up browsing if sites are over-complex and
poorly organized. It should be pointed out that it is extremely important to use
simple navigation.
o Interestingly, slow website loading has a somewhat greater effect on users than
problems with navigation. The average rating of this statement is 3.73, which
shows that more users give up browsing if website loading is slow, compared to
those who give up due to poor navigation.
o Many companies involved in online business pay a particular attention to
investment in website design and its improvements. The general opinion is that, if
a website design is poor and uncoordinated, a user will simply not trust in
everything it offers. We therefore attempted to examine whether, and to what
extent, the first impression depends on the website design, and we obtained
unexpected results. Although we believed that the percentage of affirmative
answers will be extremely high, opinions vary considerably. What is interesting is
that the average rating of this statement is 3.75, which does not follow trends in
the least. However, it is understandable after the full analysis of usability elements,
since it has already been stated that respondents rated website information as the
most important element, which in turn means that its appearance is less important
for them.
It has already been pointed out that privacy greatly affects the development of online
trust, which is additionally supported by this research results. Respondents are definitely
convinced that privacy is important in case of e-transactions, which is proven by the average
rating of 4.81. As much as 90% respondents rated it 5. It is evident that e-transactions include
exchange of sensitive information while privacy in this context implies their adequate
management. The management involves their use, monitoring, and sharing with a third party.
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
We learned that respondents believe that their distrust in e-transactions increases with the
possibility of sharing their information with a third party (average rating of 4.56). In this
respect, their greatest concern is the purpose they are used for and whether their inboxes will
be crammed with unapproved messages. Unethical internet behavior is the cause for this
concern, and it is therefore crucial to pay more attention to the protection of their privacy, in
order to prevent them from giving up e-transactions. Besides, the stricter the rules of online
privacy, the greater chances for success (average rating of 4.43).
Respondents consider security to be the most important factor in case of e-
transactions, which is proven by the average rating of 4.85 (slightly higher than privacy).
Besides, most of them feel insecure when exchanging sensitive information. The main reason
for such views is a great degree of distrust in electronic systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
since it is believed that there is no sufficient degree of protection, and that the risk is too high.
In order for e-commerce to reach its full potential, it is necessary to provide adequate security
mechanisms that would protect financial and sensitive information and reduce security
omissions to a minimum. If applications that support the security codes practice are not
sufficiently developed and used, many users will clearly give up e-transactions or, even if
they decide to carry them out, will feel a reasonable fear.
Due to the internet specificity, where face-to-face interaction is impossible and where
products cannot be seen and touched, users must rely on promises and images. Most present
studies show that they give up e-transactions because they do not have the opportunity to see
products and make sure of their performance until the very moment of delivery. However,
respondents’ views on this issue in this research are surprising. The average rating of 3.06
leads to the conclusion that, although many of them believe that there is a possibility of not
receiving what they actually ordered, they still carry out e-transactions (naturally if the
requirements concerning privacy and security have been met, which has already been
discussed). If the company has a good reputation in these matters, it is also believed that it
provides a realistic picture of its products and delivers them with the expected performance
(average rating of 4.26).
The internet has changed the old rules of doing business it is true, but when it comes
to a specific factor such as consumer loyalty, old rules are still in place. Loyalty in this
context is still related to users’ trust and they will certainly, after a superior online experience
always stay loyal to the company that provided them with such an experience. Research
results, with the average rating of 3.98 reveal that over half of respondents believe that, before
they become loyal, companies must gain their trust, which makes sense. They pay attention to
the already described factors, which increase trust and make up a whole that cannot function
properly if any of them is missing. Only a few of them believe that online trust is not a basic
factor in building loyalty to the company seller.
It is a fact that companies that do not aspire to build long-term relations are in an
unenviable position since they cannot fully understand which factors truly increase their
satisfaction, successfully initiate repeat purchases and lead to increased trust. The high
average rating of 4.13 provides evidence that their online trust increases through the
personalized relationship with the company, which refutes all views that in the online world, a
personalized relationship is not important for generating trust.
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
5.2. Model of mutual dependence
Since some constructs have been derived based on the average value of responses to
questions pertaining to given constructs, an analysis of reliability5
for responses from the
questionnaire and derived constructs was performed in the very beginning (Table 3.).
Table 3. Analysis of reliability
Company – seller’s website usability (ease of use)
is important in case of e-transactions.
My first impression depends on website design.
Slow website loading results in my giving up
Poor navigation results in my giving up browsing.
Website should provide information that help
decrease uncertainty related to e-transactions.
Privacy is important in case of e-transactions.
Distrust in e-transactions increases with the
possibility of sharing my sensitive information
with a third party.
The stricter the rules on online privacy, the
greater the chances of my carrying put an e-
Security is important in case of e-transactions.
I feel insecure when exchanging sensitive
information over the internet due to possible
I would not carry out an e-transaction because I
am not able to see the product until the moment
of its delivery.
Company – seller’s integrity affects building of
my online trust.
All the Cronbach alpha values are higher than 0.6, which proves that the assumption
of reliability has been satisfied, and that the defined constructs can be analyzed further.
The structural model involves a series of linear regression models that describe how
some variables depend on others. These models are called structural equations, while a group
of structural equations makes up a structural model. Coefficients describe the way in which
the dependent variable depends on the independent variable values and are called path
coefficients. We used Amos, software which is part of SPSS package to calculate these
coefficients. A model that included the constructs as manifest variables (website usability,
privacy, security, expected product performance, and e-CRM), and the obtained results (path
coefficients) are presented in Graph 1.
5 Cronbach’s alpha is a measure of internal consistency, that is, how closely related a set of items is as a group.
A "high" value of alpha is evidence that the items measure an underlying (or latent) construct. Cronbach’s alpha
is not a statistical test - it is a coefficient of reliability (or consistency).
Ekonomska istraživanja, Vol. 24 (2011) No. 3 (131-146)
Graph 1. Structure model
Chi square value for the obtained model is 14.27 with p value of 0.014, while the
RMSEA value6
is 0.06, which is lower than the critical value of 0.08. This indicates the
adequacy of the obtained model. Since online trust is also directly rated through the
questionnaire, the comparison of the original ratings with those that would be obtained using
the presented model has been made:
online trust (estimated)
0 16 website usability 0 235 privacy 0 275 security + 0.145 performance + 0.16 eCRM
= +⋅ +⋅ . ..
The average value of absolute deviation of the original from rated valued for online
trust is 0.197 with standard deviation of 0.263. When this value is related to the average value
of the original rating for the importance of online trust (4.63, cf. Table 2), the model variation
coefficient of 4.25% is obtained, which indicates the significance of the obtained structure
model and its applicability in further forecasts.
Similar to Angriawan and Thakur's model, our model also proves a direct correlation
between online trust and manifest variables included in the model; however, we cannot
directly compare model results (path coefficients), since manifest variables are not included in
these structural models in the same way.
In order to check the postulated hypotheses, we calculated partial coefficients of
correlation between original ratings for online trust and variables included in the model (Table
6 RMSEA is the root mean square error of approximation. This is test of model fit, good models are considered
to have a RMSEA of 0.08 or less.
Privacy, construct
Security, construct
Performance, construct
Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
Table 4. Partial coefficients of correlation with the online trust variable
P value
Website usability
All the obtained correlation coefficients are significant with the first-type error of 5%
(p value is lower than 0.05), which means that the following hypotheses have been proven:
1. There is a positively-directed correlation between website usability and online
2. There is a positively-directed correlation between expected product performance
and online trust.
3. There is a positively-directed correlation between privacy and online trust.
4. There is a positively-directed correlation between security and online trust.
5. There is a positively-directed correlation between online trust and e-CRM.
Since the importance of online trust and loyalty was directly rated through the
questionnaire, the correlation coefficient was used to analyze correlation between them. The
obtained correlation coefficient has the value of 0.42 with p value 0.000, which proves the set
hypothesis that: There is a positively-directed correlation between online trust and loyalty.
All e-transactions imply a certain degree of uncertainty in terms of their outcome, as
well as the exchange of personal and sensitive data. Poor business practices make e-
commerce difficult causing dissatisfaction and uncertainty. E-merchants must act in the best
possible way in order to overcome consumers' perception of insecurity and risk by building
trust. It implies strict elimination of all activities that negatively affect consumers and directly
prevent them from carrying out transactions.
The research proved that basic factors of online trust model development include:
website usability, privacy, security, expected product performance, loyalty, and electronic
customer relations management (e-CRM).
There is a strong mutual correlation among these factors and e-merchants must
therefore use an integral holistic approach in their programs of online trust development,
building trust with consumers and ensuring security and privacy.
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Almir Peštek, Emina Resić, Maja Nožica: Model of trust in e-transactions
Trend razvoja e-trgovine osim značajnih koristi kreira i dosta izazova u smislu razvoja
povjerenja između kompanije i potrošača. Nedostatak povjerenja vodi ka neobavljanju e-
transakcija. Cilj ovog rada jeste identifikacija i objašnjenje najvažnijih faktora modela koji
utiču na povećanje povjerenja korisnika u e-transakcije. Osim analize dostupnih radova iz
ove oblasti provedeno je i terensko istraživanje na uzorku od 512 ispitanika uz pomoć online
ankete. Nalazi istraživanja potvrđuju da su osnovni faktori modela online povjerenja:
upotrebljivost web stranice, privatnost, sigurnost, očekivane performanse proizvoda, lojalnost
i elektronsko upravljanje odnosom s klijentima (e-CRM).
Ključne riječi: e-transakcije, e-trgovina, povjerenje
... For this reason, consumers are most concerned about the security of their information and their privacy and an evident lack of the two can result in consumers not trusting e-commerce or not wanting to use it together (Dijesh, Babu and Vijayalakshmi, 2020). More risks consumers face when purchasing online include receiving inadequate service, substandard or even damaged products as they are not able to physically assess the products before purchase and late to cancelled deliveries (Peštek et al., 2011). All these factors are crucial when it comes to the success of e-commerce as they have an effect on the consumer's trust which in turn can influence the consumer's intention to use e-commerce (Fernández-Bonilla et al., 2021). ...
As technology continues to advance, e-commerce’s growth continues to increase with each passing year. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the world and has compelled many individuals to adjust their lifestyles accordingly as to avoid contamination. Because of the covid-19 prevention protocols implemented globally and advised by WHO, consumers have found themselves in need of contactless methods of purchasing goods and services like e-commerce. Customers’ views of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic are investigated in this study. A survey was created for this study and a questionnaire was distributed online to participants of all nationalities. The study included 419 respondents and used descriptive statistics to analyse collected data. Results showed that participants found e-commerce to be useful and satisfactory during the Covid-19 pandemic and have a high intention to continue using e-commerce. Results also showed a low sense of security in participants when it comes to providing sensitive information and trusting e-commerce sites to protect their privacy.
... It is essential to increase consumer confidence in e-commerce, since the perceived risk due to the possible losses derived from an online transaction is greater than in the traditional environment. 47 According to Pestek et al., 48 online trust occurs "when a consumer is sure about the reliability and integrity of an online distributor to be able to conduct successful online transactions." Thus, online trust will positively influence the adoption of Internet searches and, consequently, online purchase intention. ...
The aim of this paper is to understand why shoppers who use smartphones to make their purchases recommend shopping through this channel. To do this, the influence of the main relational marketing variables on the Word of Mouth (WOM) generated by shoppers is analyzed. The model shows the effect of reputation, loyalty and relational quality (satisfaction, trust, and affective commitment) on the WOM published after buying different things using smartphones. The proposed model explains the background of the influence of mWOM on m-shopping using smartphones based on rela-tional variables (Satisfaction, Trust and Affective Commitment), a com-mon external variable of the online environment (online reputation) and loyalty as a habitual precedent of WOM. The main contributions of this study are the recommendations that consumers with experience of mobile shopping make about the use of this channel based on both relational and external variables with gender as a moderating variable. © 2022 International Association for Computer Information Systems.
... Trust acquires greater relevance when transactions take place in an online context, where there is a high level of uncertainty (Bai et al., 2015;Pavlou, 2003). Thus, building trust is a key to overcome online consumers' perceptions of risk and insecurity (Pe stek et al., 2011). The absence of physical interaction between buyers and sellers in digital purchasing processes makes trust a critical factor for s-commerce, as it helps to mitigate the risks perceived by consumers (Hajli, 2014a;Sarulatha & Sasirekha, 2018). ...
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Social media are increasingly used as platforms to not only socialise but also to shop for products and services. Social commerce is the new trend in e-commerce that leverages the enhanced consumer-to-consumer interactions to support shopping processes. Based on the concept of social commerce constructs suggested by Nick Hajli, this article investigates the role of social commerce constructs, emotional and informative support, and trust as drivers of social commerce intention. We apply multi-group analysis to validate the drivers of social commerce for two of the most relevant social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram. Based on a sample of 800 social commerce users, our findings reveal that social commerce constructs are strong drivers of social commerce intention for both social media platforms; however, there are differences between the two as Facebook seems to generate higher emotional support and trust than Instagram.
... Online trust is when a consumer has confidence in an e-merchant's reliability and integrity to perform online transactions successfully (Peštek, Resiae, and Nožica, 2011). The attributes of the merchant, attribute of the web site and the basic technology infrastructure as the indicators that influence online trust have been discussed (Yazdanifard, Hoe, Islam, and Emami, 2011). ...
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he main objective of the study is to examine the effect of viral marketing on brand equity in the Nigerian non alcoholic beverage industry. A cross-sectional survey research design method was T adopted. Stratified random sampling technique was applied to select the sample. The study made use of a sample size of 289 employees from selected non alcoholic beverage firms in Lagos State, Nigeria. The research instrument was a 30-item validated structured questionnaire of the Likert Scale type. The statistical techniques used are the descriptive statistics, correlation and multiple regression analysis. Findings showed that there is a significant relationship between the constructs of viral marketing and brand equity. Social networks appear to have the highest positive effect on brand equity in the non alcoholic beverage industry in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study therefore, concluded that the use of social networks can help to reach out to more customers geographically. By reaching out to more customers, the business can improve its marketing strategies and create brand equity. It was recommended that firms must regard targeting skillfully by sending messages to groups that are interested in the brand, product, or service with possibility of success than simply emailing to the world at large.
... Sin embargo, no pudo confirmarse la hipótesis dos, ya que la confianza en los medios de pago en línea no afecta la actitud hacia las ofertas y promociones de servicios turísticos ofrecidos en línea como se esperaba (Tsiakis y Sthephanides, 2005). Incluso, un bajo nivel de confianza, podría mostrar un efecto negativo en la actitud, aunque en nuestros resultados, la confianza en los sistemas de pago como una creencia que contribuye a reforzar la integridad del proveedor y disminuir la percepción de inseguridad en el proceso de transacción en línea (Peštek et al., 2011), no mostró un efecto sobre la actitud a aprovechar las promociones. ...
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Iako je pristup problematici marketinga u sportu kod većine autora takav da u najvećem delu sportske organizacije obuhvata događaje, usluge i sportiste, u ovoj knjizi su podjednako zastupljeni i marketinški aspekti poslovanja drugih učesnika iz industrije sporta. Izbor područja u kojima ilustrujemo primenu konkretnih marketinških instrumenata zavisi od toga u kom segmentu sportskih proizvoda i usluga ih je moguće najpotpunije objasniti, te u odnosu na to, u knjizi imamo naizmeničnu analizu sportskih organizacija, odnosno sportskih događaja i sportista, sa jedne strane, odnosno proizvođača i distributera sportskih proizvoda i usluga sa druge strane. Razlika u primeni marketinga svodi se na izbor i intenzitet upotrebe pojedinih marketinških instrumenata, kako između navedenih područja primene, tako i u odnosu na druga tržišta. Za promociju, odnose s javnošću i sponzorstvo, može se reći da su najzastupljeniji alati marketinga u sportu, te se ovim temama u knjizi posvećuje posebna pažnja. Međutim, primena marketinga podrazumeva i poslove istraživanja, segmentacije, pozicioniranja, odnosno donošenje odluka o elementima marketing miksa, zatim isticanje značaja procesa upravljanja odnosima sa kupcima, kao i značaja razvoja partnerstva, kako između sportskih organizacija, tako i između drugih učesnika u industriji sporta. Poseban odeljak posvećen је etici u sportu, odnosno društveno odgovornom marketingu kao perspektivi marketinga u sportu. Naime, sport je izvrsna oblast za promovisanje društveno odgovornog ponašanja, budući da bavljenje sportom pozitivno utiče na živote ljudi, te sportisti i sportske organizacije mogu i treba da utiču na percepciju javnosti o ovoj problematici. Takođe, globalno poznate kompanije, proizvođači sportske odeće, obuće i opreme, treba da usaglase svoje poslovanje sa društveno odgovornim ponašanjem, kao i da iskoriste marketing u svrhe promocije svih društveno odgovornih aktivnosti koje realizuju. Sadržaj knjige obiluje mnogobrojnim primerima primene marketinških aktivnosti u različitim svetskim i domaćim sportskim organizacijama, zatim na sportskim događajima, ali i u poznatim velikim kompanijama poput kompanija Najk i Adidas, kao i u različitim fitnes centrima. Pored štampanih izvora, korišćen je veliki broj informacija sa interneta, budući na značajno učešće ovih tehnologija u marketinškim strategijama na tržištu sportskih proizvoda i usluga, kao i zbog postojanja značajnog fonda informacija o aktuelnostima na tržištu sportskih proizvoda i usluga.
This paper identifies and estimates the determinants for participating in e-commerce and developing e-trust, as well as the importance of e-trust for e-commerce in Spain. For its analysis, a national survey from 2014 to 2019 is used and the logit model is implemented. It is concluded that the e-trust is a determining factor in e-commerce, and the improvement of equality education helps the growth of online commerce and e-trust. In turn, e-trust encourages the use of all digital resources.
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Scholars have questioned the effectiveness of several customer relationship management strategies. The author investigates the differential effects of customer relationship perceptions and relationship marketing instruments on customer retention and customer share development over time. Customer relationship perceptions are considered evaluations of relationship strength and a supplier's offerings, and customer share development is the change in customer share between two periods. The results show that affective commitment and loyalty programs that pro- vide economic incentives positively affect both customer retention and customer share development, whereas direct mailings influence customer share development. However, the effect of these variables is rather small. The results also indicate that firms can use the same strategies to affect both customer retention and customer share development.
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Internet-based companies need to remain competitive. One way of improving competitive advantage is to attract more customers and increase customer retention; for example, by developing long-term, secure relationships between the buyers and sellers. Little empirical research has been conducted on the link between customer relationship management and customer loyalty within an Internet, or e-commerce, context. This study provides evidence of how to improve planning for customer management by presenting and testing a conceptual model of the process by which the implementation of electronic relationship marketing (e-CRM), can enhance loyalty. While building the research framework, price sensitivity was found to be a primary confounding element on loyalty and was included in the study for control. An exploratory study of Internet retailers, e-retailers, and their customers was conducted and the findings revealed that e-retail companies (with CD, DVD, video and book products) should consider customers’ perceptions of relationship marketing efforts, as they are fundamental to enhancing customer loyalty and that an enhancement of customer loyalty reduces price sensitivity.
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This paper investigates the extent to which ethical factors impact consumer willingness to purchase from e-stores. A methodology which examines a mix of factors, rather than each factor separately is employed in the context of a hypothetical purchasing situation. Two commercial factors (product price and quality) and three ethical factors (assuring e-consumer privacy and security, guaranteeing e-vendor accountability, and accurate product description) are given a ranking of “high” or “low” and used to construct 32 full factorial profiles of Websites. A sample of typical e-consumers was then asked to rate their willingness to purchase goods from each of the sites. Of the ethical factors, the assurance of privacy and security is found to have a significant impact on willingness to purchase. Yet, in the case of a conflict between the commercial and ethical factors, where the Website offers attractively priced, high-quality goods, while subjecting consumers to unfair ethical practices, the typical e-consumer tends to give more weight to the commercial factors than to the ethical factors.
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E-commerce success, especially in the business-to-consumer area, is determined in part by whether consumers trust sellers and products they cannot see or touch, and electronic systems with which they have no previous experience. This paper describes a theoretical model for investigating the four main antecedent influences on consumer trust in Internet shopping, a major form of business-to-consumer e-commerce: trustworthiness of the Internet merchant, trustworthiness of the Internet as a shopping medium, infrastructural (contextual) factors (e.g., security, third-party certification), and other factors (e.g., company size, demographic variables). The antecedent variables are moderated by the individual consumer's degree of trust propensity, which reflects personality traits, culture, and experience. Based on the research model, a comprehensive set of hypotheses is formulated and a methodology for testing them is outlined. Some of the hypotheses are tested empirically to demonstrate the applicability of the theoretical model. The findings indicate that merchant integrity is a major positive determinant of consumer trust in Internet shopping, and that its effect is moderated by the individual consumer's trust propensity.
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Internet and World Wide Web technologies provide the infrastructure for the Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) revolution now taking place. As a result of these technologies, even the smallest organization can afford to market its wares to hundreds of millions of potential e-Consumers. However, these technologies also pose threats to the very electronic commerce which they enable. For managers to strategize and implement e-Commerce effectively in their organizations, these impediments need to be recognized and understood. While hundreds of articles identify problems with Internet computing or conducting e-Commerce, no unified framework of technological impediments specific to e-Commerce yet exists. Communications of AIS Volume 1, Article 16 3 Current Technological Impediments to B2C Electronic Commerce by Rose, Khoo, and Straub The goal of this paper is to identify the primary technological impediments to e-Commerce. Six categories of technological impediments have been identified. Those which appear to pose the greatest threats to the development of e-Commerce are: (1) download delays, (2) limitations in the interface, (3) search problems, (4) inadequate measurement of Web application success, (5) security (real and perceived) weaknesses, and (6) a lack of Internet standards. Associated costs, threats, and limitations specific to e-Commerce are also identified and implications explored. The paper concludes with an assessment of ways to mitigate these obstacles, including design choices, workarounds, and emerging technological solutions. A bibliography of 296 relevant trade press articles is included following the references.
The aim of this research is to provide a broader understanding of the concept of e-trust as it relates to web site design characteristics. A random sample of US internet shoppers was used, and a survey instrument administered to gauge their perceptions on the importance of e-quality web features. Using principal component factor analysis methods, we analyzed e-trust using three factors reflecting reliability, assurance and credibility. Based on gender, although females generally ranked all three e-trust factors as more important than males did, the assurance factor was significantly more important to females than to males. Assurance was also perceived to be significantly more important to consumers with an annual income of $30,000-$49,999 than those with a higher annual income bracket (i.e., ≥$75,000). Furthermore, our results show that frequent shoppers perceived reliability to be significantly more important than infrequent shoppers did. Additionally, in terms of importance, our findings show that reliability was significantly more important than assurance and credibility.
Online trust is an important issue in e-commerce. Recent research has indicated that online trust, or the absence of online trust, is a key inhibitor in an individual consumer's acceptance of e-commerce. In an uncertain and complex environment such as e-commerce, online trust is an important mechanism for consumers to reduce uncertainty. Uncertainty inhibits these individuals from making online purchases and becoming loyal customers of e-commerce organizations. We developed and tested a model of online trust that addresses the major sources of e-commerce uncertainty and consumer loyalty. We found that website usability, expected product performance, security, and privacy collectively explained 70% of the variance in online trust. The strongest predictors were consecutively security, website usability, expected product performance, and privacy. We also found that online trust and privacy explain 50% variance in consumer loyalty.
In e-commerce, loyal customers are considered extremely valuable. Loyalty is generally attributed to satisfaction with the quality of service. Since online transactions involve many uncertainties for the customer, trust is a condition for exchange. Trust in the electronic medium – here called “e-trust” – is believed to increase online customer loyalty, but empirical confirmations are scarce. The present study empirically investigates the roles of service quality, satisfaction and trust in an e-commerce context. In the study, e-trust is found to directly affect loyalty. The e-service quality dimension of assurance, i.e. trusting the merchant, influences loyalty via e-trust and e-satisfaction. Other e-quality dimensions, such as ease of use, e-scape, responsiveness, and customization influence e-loyalty mainly indirectly, via satisfaction. Managerial implications and suggestions for further research are provided.
This study aims to identify the factors that influence buyer and seller trust in online consumer-to-consumer transactions. Earlier studies focused on the B2C domain, thus this study intends to fill this literature gap. Factor analysis is used to identify the factors in this study using the principle component method. The factors identified by this study are buyers' and sellers’ general propensity to trust others, knowledge and expertise, risk propensity, personal acquaintances and relationships, and their prior transaction experience. The study's limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.