Revenue from ecommerce represents a multi-billion dollar industry in rapid expansion. Old and new players in this burgeoning market must foster purchase intentions in potential consumers in order to stay afloat. Until now, trust has acted as the lone gatekeeper to purchase intentions. In this study we suggest an alternative gate through establishing common ground with product reviewers. Common ground is a multidimensional construct from the fields of cognitive science that refers to the mutual knowledge, beliefs, and assumptions shared during communication (Clark 1996; Clark et al. 1983). Using PLS to analyze results from 102 online surveys, we distinguish between common ground and homophily (similarity of attributes), and show what role each plays in ecommerce. Our findings support our recommendation to measure common ground and homophily separately. Lastly, we find that purchase intentions can be fostered in potential customers through establishing common ground—regardless of levels of trust.
Gaskin, James and Oakley, Todd, "BYPASSING TRUST IN ONLINE PURCHASE DECISIONS BY ESTABLISHING COMMON GROUND" (2010). ICIS 2010 Proceedings. 127.