The Role of Mutual Trust in Building Members’ Loyalty to a C2C Platform Provider

Jin Chen, Cheng Zhang, and Yunjie Xu
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 14, Number 1, Fall 2009, pp. 147.

Abstract: Active interactions and relationships among members are crucial to the success of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e commerce. Prior studies have rarely articulated the relationship between the social interactions among members and their loyalty to the C2C platform provider. This paper differentiates two types of trust in C2C e commerce–mutual trust among members and members’ trust in the platform provider–and then proposes that trust in the platform provider mediates the relation between mutual trust and loyalty to the platform provider. A study using a sample from Chinese C2C Web sites shows that information interaction and emotional interaction both boost mutual trust among members, which in turn boosts their trust in and loyalty to the platform provider. For platform providers, the findings suggest a strategic route to building members’ loyalty in a competitive market.

Key Words and Phrases
: C2C e commerce, loyalty, mutual trust, platform providers, social interaction, trust, trust in e commerce.