Loughborough University
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What is preventing e-commerce from reaching its full potential? An investigation into trust as a barrier for the adoption of B2C e-commerce in the United Kingdom

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posted on 2013-05-13, 11:16 authored by Sarah Malone
Although electronic commerce has seen considerable growth in recent years, usage figures suggest that U.K consumers are still hesitant to make the switch to onJine shopping. This study initially reviewed the literatures on trust, Internet security, consumer purchasing behaviour and electronic commerce, and then combined the literature review findings with initial results obtained from a pilot study, and a model identifying the factors that affect consumers' perceived trustworthiness of web sites when making purchasing decisions on the Internet was created. The model was then tested by means of a consumer perception survey that used a novel quantitative survey instrument to investigate current consumer perceptions of e-commerce, from the perspective of both Internet and Non Internet users, and determined the main barrier to business to consumer (B2C) electronic commerce as identified by the potential consumers themselves. These quantitative findings were then used to further develop the model of trust, encompassing all the potential factors that the research identified could impact on a consumer's perceived level of trust in a web site, thus ultimately affecting their decision to purchase. This model was then tested through further qualitative research that incorporated observational studies to test consumer reactions to an onJine shopping scenario, using a special selection of web sites that should have (based on the model) a positive or negative influence on consumers' trust. Although the research design was qualitative in nature, a triangulation approach was adopted to ensure that the information generated was highly relevant and directly applicable to the creation of a model of trust. The model was revised, with the final version named the Model of Factors Affecting Consumer Trust Online (M.O.F.A.C.T.O). The implications of the model and recommendations for further research are discussed.



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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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