Title: A model of customers' initial trust in unknown online retailers: an empirical study

Authors: Euijin Kim, Suresh Tadisina

Addresses: Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351, USA. ' Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

Abstract: Trust is considered one of the key success factors of e-commerce, and winning customers| trust initially is especially important for web-based companies (e-businesses), as initial trust could be a starting point from which more sustainable relationships could possibly develop. In answering the question of how e-business customers develop initial trust especially in unknown online retailers, we propose a model with a two-factor initial trust model (competence and goodwill) and three different types of predictors: two trustee|s characteristic-based factors (company profile and website quality), one institution-based factor (third-party support) and one trustor|s personality-based factor (propensity to trust). This model was empirically tested and we found some evidence that website quality and third-party support had significant effect on initial trust. Company profile and propensity to trust didn|t have any direct effects on initial trust, but a type of propensity to trust showed some moderating effects.

Keywords: initial trust; competence; goodwill; company profiles; third-party support; corporate websites; internet; world wide web; unknown retailers; online retailing; e-tailing; virtual shopping; customer attitudes; e-commerce; electronic commerce; web-based companies; e-business; electronic business; trust models; sustainable relationships; website quality; propensity to trust; USA; United States; characteristic-based factors; institution-based factors; personality-based factors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2010.035740

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2010 Vol.6 No.4, pp.419 - 443

Published online: 03 Oct 2010 *

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