The Effect of Web Site Perceptions on Initial Trust in the Owner Company

William Hampton-Sosa and Marios Koufaris
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 10, Number 1, Fall 2005, pp. 55.

Abstract: This study is an empirical examination of the effect of a firm’s Web site on a customer’s development of initial trust beliefs after a first visit to the Web site. Specifically, it examines the impact of Web site appeal and usability on the initial trust beliefs of new customers with respect to an on-line company. Web site appeal is found to be a significant predictor of initial trust, which in turn has a significant effect on intention to use the Web site in the future, but the results do not support a relationship between Web site usability and initial trust. Web skills are found to have a positive relationship to perceptions of a Web site’s usability, but initial trust in a company has no significant relationship to individual trust propensity. Finally, there is some indication, although not conclusive, that the relationship between Web site usability and initial trust may be significant only for travel-related Web sites, an area where the customer’s search task can be very complex.

Key Words and Phrases
: Electronic commerce, initial trust, on-line customers, trust in e-commerce, Web site appeal, Web site usability.