In Web we trust: establishing strategic trust among online customers

TitleIn Web we trust: establishing strategic trust among online customers
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsCeaparu I, Demner D, Hung E, Zhao H, Shneiderman B
JournalE-Service: new directions in theory and practice
Pagination90 - 107
Date Published2002///

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) provides an important chance for established large companies to gain more customers as well as for new small companies to have a good start and rapid growth. However, establishing trust between customers and companies through web interface, a key component of successful e-service, is not as easy as through human-buyer-human-seller interaction. In the past few years, a number of experiments have been conducted in order to determine the factors that influence customers' trust in online businesses. The goal of our experiment was to establish which features that appear on commercial websites are trust-inducing. Our study focused on three independent variables: customer service (limited and extensive), testimonial (self and external) and security features representation (graphics and text). We designed the homepages of eight web sites with all combinations of treatments of the three independent variables. Each of the 52 subjects reviewed all the eight homepages and gave them a relative rank of trustworthiness. After the experiment subjects answered additional e-trust related questions. The experiment results and the survey support the belief that specific customer service commitments, third party testimonials and graphic security representations are important in establishing strategic trust among on-line customers.