Can the Media Richness of a Privacy Disclosure Enhance Outcome? A Multifaceted View of Trust in Rich Media Environments

Muhammad Aljukhadar, Sylvain Senecal, and Denis Ouellette
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 14 Number 4, Summer 2010, pp. 103.

Abstract: Trust in rich media environments is conceptualized as comprising both trust in the retailer and trust in the others represented virtually during on-line interaction. More specifically, the authors posit that media richness (manipulated by the modality of the privacy disclosure) affects the e store social presence that drives retailer trust and behavioral intentions, and that in rich media environments, agent trust (trustworthiness of the virtually represented agent communicating the disclosure) (1) mediates the relation between social presence and retailer trust, and (2) shapes consumer judgments of retailer trustworthiness and purchase intentions. These hypotheses are supported by the results of an experiment with 423 consumers, which show that there is a hierarchical order for social influence in rich media environments that entices retailers to manage not only the media richness of their B2C messages but also the social actors communicating these messages at their e stores.

Key Words and Phrases: Agent trust, new media use, on-line video, privacy disclosure, rich media, social cues, social presence, trust dimensions, virtually represented others.