The rise of E-commerce came with the promise of disintermediation. However, the e-commerce scenario today is flooded by an increasing number of intermediaries, e.g. Amazon, Verisign and Thawte. Economics of intermediation suggests that intermediaries arise when consumers are unsure of the market in general. The question then is: what market conditions prompt such consumer perceptions of uncertainty? This paper tries to address this very issue by empirically testing antecedent and contingent conditions to consumer uncertainty in electronic markets.Findings suggest that consumer uncertainty is traceable to inherent electronic market inefficiences of anonymity and lack of product and process transparencies. The findings also suggest that uncertainty is a function of product price, but only when product tranparency is lacking. However, the study did not find any significant influence of gender on consumer uncertainty, as previously theorized.
Chatterjee, Sutirtha and Datta, Pratim, "Antecedents and contingencies affecting uncertainty in electronic markets: an empirical study" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 192.