An exploratory review of consumer trust and its antecedents in E-commerce

Ding, Celina
Glynn, Mark
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

There is a general agreement in literature that improving online trust between businesses and consumers would create a greater success for e-commerce. Building consumer trust in e-commerce and developing long-term relationships with consumers is the key to exploiting the potential of e-commerce (Grabner-Krauter and Kaluscha, 2003). Trust in the e-commerce context is a relatively new phenomenon and traditional trust research does not provide enough knowledge to explain and predict consumer trust in e-commerce. The conceptualizations of the trust construct and the relationship between trust and its antecedents are not theoretically derived nor thoroughly validated in e-commerce. Hence there is a need to examine the notion of trust in this emerging context. This study takes the form of a literature review, which integrates literature on e-trust by critically synthesizing and analysing articles published on the topic of consumer trust in e-commerce (e-trust). This approach is achieved by discussing trust in diverse disciplines which e-trust models are based on. Literature on the topic of antecedents of e-trust is selected and analysed, and the results and findings are presented at the end. The findings suggest that there still exist conceptual confusions of trust in e-commerce. The literature on consumer e-trust suffers because of the complexity and multi-dimensions of trust (Lewis and Weigert, 1985). This hinders empirical studies from examining a broader picture of consumer e-trust. Most of the selected literature is based on different theoretical foundations or disciplines and each study has focused on a selected aspect of the relationship between the on-line consumer, the Internet vendor and the Internet channel. This makes it difficult to compare and contrast the relationship between trust and the antecedents of trust in e-commerce. Disposition to trust (consumer’s personality trait), trustworthiness of the Internet vendor, and institutional trust are found to be major antecedents of consumer e-trust in this study.

Electronic commerce -- New Zealand , Consumers -- Attitudes , Trust
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