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Author Kim, Dongmin ♦ Benbasat, Izak
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Abstract Introduction Improving customer trust in an internet store is an important goal in B2C electronic commerce because it leads to outcomes important for the success of an Internet store, such as reduced customer risk perceptions in transacting with the store and increased willingness to buy from the store. Therefore, one of the critical success factors for Internet stores is to convince customers of the store's trustworthiness, which refers to a set of customers' beliefs regarding the ability, integrity, and benevolence of the online merchant. One mechanism by which such perceptions of trustworthiness on the part of stores can be established is to provide trust assurances on a store's Web site. Trust assurance refers to "a claim and its supporting statements used in an Internet store to address trust-related concerns." An example of trust assurance statements found in internet stores is: We are so confident in our security that we guarantee you'll pay nothing if unauthorized charges are made to your credit card as a result of shopping at circuitcity.com."<br />        (Excerpted from a checkout page of www.circuitcity.com) Trust assurances can be provided by an Internet store itself, by customers, or by a third party organization. For example, Simplycheap.com, shown in Figure 1, displays both a store's self-proclaimed assurance (such as "safe shopping our security guarantee") and a third-party assurance (such as Hacker Safe). In this article, we first review finding in previous studies regarding trust assurance. Then we provide a snapshot regarding how often Internet stores use trust assurances and what concerns are addressed in such trust assurances by reporting current usage of trust assurances based on observations of 85 Internet stores. We expect that this snapshot will help business managers to understand how other companies use trust assurances. Second, we suggest two design guidelines for effective implementation of trust assurances for Web developers. Before reporting our findings based on observations from 85 Internet stores, we briefly review the findings of several previous studies regarding trust assurances. First, many studies have reported that displaying trust assurances increases the trustworthiness of an Internet store. A store's own assurance enhances the trustworthiness of an Internet store if they are well-structured. Third-party assurances (or trustmarks), such as TRUSTe and BBBOnLine seals positively influence the favorableness of a store's privacy policies, and are more influential in improving a firm's trustworthiness than a rating by Consumer Reports magazine is. Among third-party assurances, the WebTrust seal appeared to be more influential than BBBOnLine when people chose a vendor. Interestingly, third-party assurances were not considered as important as "security features," such as SET (Secure Electronic Transaction), SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), and a lock symbol, in customer's decisions to buy on the World Wide Web. Second, detailed design/ usability guidelines for building a Web site are already available. For example, best practices in Interaction Design can be accessed at van Welie's Web site (http://www.welie.com/patterns/). In respect to specific implementations of trust assurances, ease of access to assurances was suggested as one of several design considerations. For example, van Duyne et al. suggested that Internet stores needed to make their privacy policy available on each of their Web pages. The finding that only 54% of licensees of the top 500 Internet consumer Web sites display their privacy seal of approval information on both their home and privacy pages indicates that the other 46% has room to improve their customers' ease of access to trust assurances. In this study, based on van Duyne et al. we examine ease of access to trust assurances. In addition, we examine the application of ease of return to the original checkout screen that customer was working on before accessing trust assurances which is important for customers to easily complete the checkout process. These two implementation issues (for example, ease of access and ease of return) are examined in the assurance delivery modes section.
Description Affiliation: University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada (Kim, Dongmin) || University of British Columbia, Canada (Benbasat, Izak)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 53
Issue Number 2
Page Count 6
Starting Page 121
Ending Page 126


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Source: ACM Digital Library