Empirical Investigations of Trust and Trust Building in Uncertain Circumstances
Edited by Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema and Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis
Chapter 9: Store and Advertiser Reputation Effects on Consumer Trust in an Internet Store: Results of an Experimental Study
Peter Kerkhof, Nadine Vahstal-Lapaix and Hans Caljé INTRODUCTION Web shopping has some clear advantages over shopping in regular shops: web shops are open 24 hours a day; the prices of products can be easily compared and are often lower than regular prices; the choice of products is often larger; and consumers don’t have to leave their homes to buy something. Still, web shopping has developed at a much slower rate than expected and the amount of money spent online is only a very small percentage of the money spent in regular shops, even in countries where web shopping is popular (for example the USA). Apparently, besides the many advantages, there are also disadvantages to buying products over the web. For example, consumers can neither touch nor see the real products, the medium of the Internet is impersonal (there is no contact with a salesperson), and many people doubt the safety and privacy of online shopping (Palmer et al., 2000). Underlying many of the disadvantages of online shopping seems to be a lack of trust associated with many aspects of the Internet. For example, lack of trust seems to underlie the refusal of many people to leave their email address to companies requesting it, one of the problems in using email as a marketing tool (Kerkhof et al., 2004). Lack of trust is also apparent when it comes to using information that is electronically available. For example, online medical information is notoriously unreliable (Culver et al., 1997). Using an experimental design,...
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