The ecommerce environment is fairly new, and several risks associated with it are novel to consumers. Consequently, e-consumers may not have developed an appropriate mental picture (i.e., a schema or a perceptual map) of these risks. For example, identity theft, a serious risk that became prominent after ecommerce has become popular, is still not well understood by most consumers. Thus, it is not clear how consumers participating in ecommerce perceive the risks. Existing ecommerce studies do not focus on risk per se; instead, they use very general constructs and measures of risk derived from general psychology and management studies in contexts other than ecommerce. Implicit in these studies is the assumption that the dimensions of perceived risk in ecommerce context are well understood. In this study, we use the psychometric paradigm to investigate how consumers organize novel online risks in memory. Data collected from consumers in two countries and analyzed using Multidimensional Scaling techniques shows significant differences in how consumers organize risks in their memory. This study is still in progress and preliminary analysis is presented.
Nyshadham, Easwar A. and Ugbaja, Monica, "A Study of Ecommerce Risk Perceptions among B2C Consumers: A Two Country Study" (2006). BLED 2006 Proceedings. 17.