From Interactions to Transactions: Designing the Trust Experience Business to Consumer Electronic Commerce

Contributed by Florian N. Egger

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a protocol that enables businesses to exchange information and transact via proprietary networks. This early form of Business-to-Business (B2B) electronic commerce (e-commerce) was quickly supplanted by Internet-based e-commerce, as it is much cheaper and more flexible. With increasingly more private users on the Internet, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce flourished in the late 90s, giving them access to products and services from all over the world. However, adoption and usage of e-commerce websites were found to be particularly affected by trust concerns. Lack of trust is mostly due to security and privacy concerns, unfamiliar online services, lack of direct interaction with products and people, as well as the poor credibility of online information. In order to address the problem of trust in B2C e-commerce, we have adopted an approach that stems from the discipline of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) that focuses on the total user experience rather than on operational efficiency alone. The objectives of this research are: (1) To build up substantive knowledge about what makes customers trust e-commerce websites and (2) To build up and validate methodological knowledge to help practitioners design and evaluate trust-shaping factors in ecommerce websites.

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