Systèmes d'Information et Management


Overcoming the trust barrier is one of the main challenges facing electronic commerce today. The formation of trust is still an open issue largely because previous research efforts have not explained trust formation as a process which can be influenced through a number of discrete interaction stages with the vendor. We present a theoretical model that describes these stages and provide initial empirical evidence which shows that users come to trust incrementally as they assess the online vendor's benevolence, competence, integrity and predictability. Based on these findings, we derive a set of principles for developing trust-centric web stores and present a prototype environment illustrating their practical applicability.