An increasing number of conventional retailers are acquiring e-commerce capabilities in addition to their physical outlets to compete with purely online retailers. It is thus of interest to retailers how trust is transferred from the offline channel to the online channel. This study adopts the social capital theory to examine the factors that influence online trust in multichannel retailers at the before-interaction stage. We survey 247 actual customers of a supermarket who have not interacted with the supermarket’s Web site. This paper posits that online trust is affected by offline trust, perceived online reputation of the retailer in providing products online, and perceived assurance. Surprisingly, customers are found to be more influenced by their perceptions of the retailer’s online reputation in providing products online than their offline trust in the retailer before they interact with the retailer’s Web site. Perceived assurance is found to play a peripheral role in determining online trust.
Kuan, Huei-Huang and Bock, Gee-Woo, "An Exploratory Study of Before-Interaction Trust Transference in Multichannel Retailers" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 60.