Celso Augusto de Matos
Alexandre dos Santos Garcia
B2C e-commerce sales have been growing all over the world in recent years. Research has shown that customer trust is a critical variable for online shoppers, and a key attribute that needs to be managed. However, what difference does it make if a consumer trusts a specific vendor, but has low trust in the Internet as a marketplace system? Or what if a consumer does not trust a specific vendor, but has high trust in the Internet as a marketplace? Based on two empirical studies, this research examines the influence of trust in an online shopping context, by considering trust in different parties, i.e., a specific vendor, the Internet as a marketplace system, and the third parties involved in the e-commerce process. Our findings support the argument that the effect of trust in the vendor (TV) has the most beneficial effect on customer loyalty for individuals with low trust in the Internet (TI), and the least beneficial effect for those with high TI (Study 1). We also demonstrate that this effect attenuates as trust in third parties (TTP) increases, indicating that the TI effect becomes null when TV and TTP are high (Study 2). We conclude with theoretical and practical implications.