Title

Online Trust and Cultural Influences In American and Japanese Consumers: An Experimental Examination of Online Retailer Familiarity and Dynamic Pricing

Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Marketing and Fashion Merchandising

First Advisor

Barry J. Babin

Advisor Department

Marketing and Fashion Merchandising

Abstract

As an experimental investigation, this study examines consumer trust to identify antecedents and consequences of trust in retailer familiarity and dynamic pricing. This study assumes that online consumer trust is established in the relationships among personal characteristics, online communication trust, online shopping trust, and purchase intention. Based on the concepts of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and Hofstede's cultural dimensions, an integrated online consumer trust model was created to measure (a) how personal characteristics affect online communication trust, (b) how online retailer familiarity and dynamic pricing influence online shopping trust and purchase intention, and (c) how online trust differs across cultures. Confirmatory factor analyses are used to test theoretical validations of the model. Regression analysis, ANCOVA, and MANCOVA are used to test hypotheses. The results show that personal characteristics are strongly related to online communication trust. One of the online communication trust constructs, structural assurance of the Web, and an experimental variable, retailer familiarity, are the main effects to develop online shopping trust. Online shopping trust is strongly related to purchase intention, but no main effects of experimental variables are found. By comparing American and Japanese consumers trust, the results show significantly different trust concepts. Generally, Americans have higher trust concepts and lower risk perceptions than Japanese in online transactions. Besides, significant main effects were found between the experimental variables and country variable on online shopping trust. When a familiar online retailer offers dynamic pricing, American consumers have higher online shopping trust and increase purchase intention, whereas Japanese consumers negatively respond toward dynamic pricing and decrease online shopping trust. However, when a less familiar online retailer offers dynamic pricing, both American and Japanese online shopping trust scores decreased. Interestingly, American consumers have lower online retailer trust and online retailer image than Japanese consumers for a less familiar retailer. In conclusion, online consumer trust is relatively complex phenomena because individuals interact differently between their perceptions and a specific online retailer's strategies. As a part of the mainstream research in the field of online communication, this study provides the substantive theoretical knowledge of building online consumer trust as well as the practical side of consumer behavior.