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Fostering consumer trust and purchase intention in B2C e-commerce
  • Siddhi Pittayachawan, RMIT University
Due to the increased adoption of the Internet over the last decade, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce has become a popular medium for consumers to purchase products or services. However, despite a growth in e-commerce, trust is a critical problem discouraging consumers to commit a purchase online. It is also an important barrier affecting the growth of B2C e-commerce. Although attempts to address this issue have been undertaken in previous research, to date there is no satisfactory solution.
Trust is a complex and multifaceted issue that must be addressed from multiple angles.Merely focusing on either Internet and network security applications or web interface alone does not guarantee that consumers will trust e-vendors. Previous research on trust tried to understand consumers’ attitudes, intentions, and behaviour that are related to trust in online shopping. However, it failed to provide a proper solution that can foster online trust because the focus to date is mainly on technical issues and secure transactions rather than what makes consumers trust e-commerce websites. As B2C e-commerce develops, risks such as identity theft, fraud, phishing, and hacking activities have emerged affecting trust in online shopping. Therefore, the objective of this research is to investigate what factors enhance consumer trust in B2C e-commerce via the Internet.
Based on the literature, five important factors that affect trust and which are barriers to online shopping are cybercrime, security, control, web interface, and trusted third party (TTP). To establish trust in B2C e-commerce, relevant four theories—Semiotics, Trust in Signs, Simmelian Model of Trust, and Trustworthiness—were used to guide this research.
Led by the literature and four theories, twelve hypotheses were developed to establish the impact of cybercrime, security, control, web interface, and TTP on trust via the proposed research model. This research undertaken to validate the proposed trust model was directed by pragmatism. It is an appropriate paradigm for this research because it allowed the researcher to comprehensively understand a complex problem such as trust. This was achieved via quantitative and qualitative research undertaken a two-phase mixed method, that guided the researcher to conduct quantitative and qualitative studies sequentially. The quantitative study validated the hypotheses and the conceptual model. The qualitative study then confirmed the findings of the quantitative study and explored additional trust issues in online shopping.
The quantitative study was conducted using an online questionnaire, and the data was analysed with structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings from the quantitative study show that consumers recognise six trust issues in online shopping, which is opposed to the proposed research model. These issues are fraud, privacy, security, control, web design, and warranty.
The qualitative study was then conducted using focus groups to understand the finding sand trends from the quantitative study. Conversations from the focus groups was recorded, transcribed, and analysed to establish trust issues. The findings from the qualitative study confirmed the findings from the quantitative study. They also explained some new findings from the SEM analysis.
A comparison of the findings from both studies establishes a practical guide for e-vendors to foster consumer trust in online shopping. This includes what makes consumers trust e- vendors’ websites, which contains trust issues that customers value and how it can be incorporated in B2C e-commerce. This research also contributes to the body of knowledge on trust by introducing a multi-theoretical approach to foster consumer trust in B2C e-commerce.
Publication Date
August 31, 2007
Doctor of Philosophy
Field of study
Business Information Systems
School of Business Information Technology, Business Portfolio, RMIT University
Mohini Singh, France Cheong
Citation Information
Siddhi Pittayachawan. "Fostering consumer trust and purchase intention in B2C e-commerce" (2007)
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