Trust building for consumers has been a main stream of research in e-commerce. However, little research pays attention to how consumers treat the revealed information about warranty, privacy statement, assurance, and related statements. Although this information is provided in real-world settings, their effectiveness has not been fully understood. This study attempts to look into this issue by employing signal theory and perspective of trust transference. Empirical results gathered from lab experiment show that warranty perception, rather than the assurance itself, is the critical antecedent of initial trust building. Once consumers discredit the revealed information in a web site, the signals will fail to induce consumers’ trust. Information from a trusted third party may be an efficient way to build consumer trust. However, it should be noted that information from trusted third party will not be effective if consumers fail to notice them, or misunderstand their meanings. Hence, e-tailers should devote to build initial trust by applying assurance and quality signals from independent institutions.
Huang, Li-Ting; Farn, Cheng-Kiang; and Yin, Kuo-Lien, "On Initial Trust Building for eCommerce: Revisiting from the Perspective of Signal Theory and Trust Transference" (2005). ECIS 2005 Proceedings. 94.