A Trust Model for Consumer Internet Shopping

Matthew K. O. Lee and Efraim Turban
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 6, Number 1, Fall 2001, pp. 75.

Abstract: E-commerce success, especially in the business-to-consumer area, is determined in part by whether consumers trust sellers and products they cannot see or touch, and electronic systems with which they have no previous experience. This paper describes a theoretical model for investigating the four main antecedent influences on consumer trust in Internet shopping, a major form of business-to-consumer e-commerce: trustworthiness of the Internet merchant, trustworthiness of the Internet as a shopping medium, infrastructural (contextual) factors (e.g., security, third-party certification), and other factors (e.g., company size, demographic variables). The antecedent variables are moderated by the individual consumer’s degree of trust propensity, which reflects personality traits, culture, and experience. Based on the research model, a comprehensive set of hypotheses is formulated and a methodology for testing them is outlined. Some of the hypotheses are tested empirically to demonstrate the applicability of the theoretical model. The findings indicate that merchant integrity is a major positive determinant of consumer trust in Internet shopping, and that its effect is moderated by the individual consumer’s trust propensity.

Key Words and Phrases
: E-commerce trust, Internet shopping, trust model, trust propensity, trust theory, trustworthy attributes.