Title: Determinants of consumers' perceptions and attitudes towards assurance seals for internet marketing: an Asia Pacific marketing perspective

Authors: Yang Xia, Zafar U. Ahmed, Susan Stone, Chua Su Wei, Chong Lin Eng, Ho Li Lian

Addresses: Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, USA. ' Prince Sultan University, Saudi Arabia; Texas A&M University at Commerce, USA. ' The John L. Grove College of Business, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257, USA. ' Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore. ' Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore. ' Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore

Abstract: The fear of lack of information privacy constitutes a serious impediment to e-commerce. Taking the fact that the internet has greatly levelled the domestic and international marketplace, and many Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have operated on the internet, it is necessary to examine how assurance seal programmes are perceived in different social environments. Prior research has identified some factors affecting customers| perceptions and attitudes towards assurance seal programmes in developed countries. This research was conducted in Singapore, where the high rate of household access to the internet is mixed with strong social/cultural norms and traditions. The results suggest that assurance seal programmes are effective in addressing privacy dimensions of unfamiliarity, sensitivity, relevance, and usage of information and technology, though in varying degrees. However, using a one-size-fits-all approach to protect online privacy may not be feasible, as respondents did not view that self-regulation could effectively substitute for the role government regulations play.

Keywords: assurance seals; e-commerce; online trust; online privacy; internet marketing; internet advertising; consumer perceptions; Asia Pacific; Singapore; SMEs; small and medium-size enterprises; electronic commerce; information privacy; security; government regulations; self-regulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2008.017020

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2008 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.156 - 178

Published online: 04 Feb 2008 *

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