This paper investigates the different trust assurances adopted by internet retailers and tries to identify a link between the characteristics of an online vendor (i.e., cost of merchandise sold, reputation, offline presence, etc...) and the specific types of trust assurances applied. The findings demonstrate that e-retailers with a relatively stronger reputation rely more on internally provided e-assurance mechanisms, such as a privacy policy or a money back guarantee, and that they make less use of third party trust endorsements. Internally-provided e-assurances also appear to be utilized more by e-retailers putting more expensive products on the market and less by those selling cheaper products. The findings regarding externally-provided e-assurances also show that third party trust endorsements such as privacy seals, security seals and award seals are adopted almost exclusively by e-retailers who sell more expensive products as compared to those selling products lower in monetary value. The results demonstrate that these findings regarding the impact of the 'monetary value of goods traded' on the adoption of externally-provided e-assurances remain valid when controlling for 'reputation' and 'offline presence'. The results also reveal that total seal investments are higher among e-commerce companies with a weaker 'reputation', among those 'without offline presence', and among e-tailers selling relatively 'more expensive merchandise'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-496
Number of pages38
JournalElectronic Commerce Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

    Research areas

  • trust assurances, trust seals, B2C e-commerce, content analysis

ID: 2473503