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Abstract

The effects of e-commerce institutional mechanisms on trust and online purchase have traditionally been understood in the initial online purchase context. This study extends this literature by exploring the role of e-commerce institutional mechanisms in the online repurchase context. In doing so, it responds to the emerging call for understanding the institutional context under which customer trust operates in an e-commerce environment. Specifically, this study introduces a key moderator, perceived effectiveness of e-commerce institutional mechanisms (PEEIM), to the relationships between trust, satisfaction, and repurchase intention. Drawing on the theory of organizational trust, and based on a survey of 362 returning online customers, we find that PEEIM negatively moderates the relationship between trust in an online vendor and online customer repurchase intention, as it decreases the importance of trust to promoting repurchase behavior. We also find that PEEIM positively moderates the relationship between customer satisfaction and trust as it enhances the customer’s reliance on past transaction experience with the vendor to reevaluate trust in the vendor. Consistent with the predictions made in the literature, PEEIM does not directly affect trust or repurchase intention. Academic and practical implications and future research directions are discussed.

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