Marketing and Management on the Internet and Mobile Media
Edited by Teemu Kautonen and Heikki Karjaluoto
Chapter 3: Trusting the Consumer Avatar: An Examination of Trust and Risk Factors in Electronic and Virtual Retailing
Michael Bourlakis, Savvas Papagiannidis and Helen Fox INTRODUCTION Dramatic changes have occurred over the past years in the business and marketing ﬁelds, emanating from the increasing use, role and inﬂuence of technology. Speciﬁcally, most people have been experiencing the real, ‘traditional’ environment for purchasing products and connecting with other people. However, over the last decade, the emergence of both the Internet and virtual environments has brought an extra dynamism to an evolving business landscape. The objective of this chapter is to introduce the element of trust and risk under alternative environments, and to analyse the electronic grocery and the virtual retail environments. Therefore, we provide the key ﬁndings from an empirical survey of UK grocery retail consumers purchasing from the Internet. In addition, the virtual retail environment is analysed via a secondary data examination of Second Life, a major virtual environment. The latter attempt is, to our knowledge, an original cross-examination of both environments resulting in a unique contribution to the literature. In terms of the chapter structure, the discussion starts by analysing the relevant literature on trust followed by a section illustrating empirical ﬁndings for the Internet grocery environment. Then, it will discuss trust issues and challenges in virtual environments, using Second Life as an example, and their similarities to and diﬀerences from related issues and challenges in the electronic environment. Finally, the last section provides the concluding remarks. 40 Trusting the consumer avatar 41 LITERATURE ON TRUST Deﬁnition of Trust Various deﬁnitions of...
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