Consumer Perceptions about E-Commerce- The Influence of Public Internet Trust

Lakshman Mahadevan, Rajagiri Centre for Business Studies
Jeffrey P. Kaleta, Georgia Southern University


Access to the internet from public places has further strengthened the internet as an anywhere-everywhere concept. Globally more businesses offer free public Wi-Fi for their customers. This research looks at customer attitude towards the use of free public Wi-Fi for e-commerce transactions, specifically, how does trust of the free public internet influence customer perception of the security of the e-commerce retailer websites. We conduct a brief study of participants in both the US and India on their perceptions of conducting e-commerce transactions using free public Wi-Fi. Our results show that the trust of the free public internet is a significant predictor of perceived security of the e-commerce website. Encrypted connections notwithstanding, businesses may need to stress the message that their website is safe to transact over public Wi-Fi.