The Human Face of E-Business: Engendering Consumer Initial Trust Through the Use of Images of Sales Personnel on E-Commerce Web Sites
Khalid Aldiri (University of Bradford, UK), Dave Hobbs (University of Bradford, UK) and Rami Qahwaji (University of Bradford, UK)
Copyright: © 2009
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce suffers from consumers’ lack of trust. This may be partly attributable to the lack of face-to-face interpersonal exchanges that provide trust behavior in conventional commerce. It was proposed that initial trust may be built by simulating face-toface interaction. To test this, an extensive laboratory- based experiment was conducted to assess the initial trust in consumers using four online vendors’ Web sites with a variety of still and video images of sales personnel, both Western and Saudi Arabian. Initial trust was found to be enhanced for Web sites employing photographs and video clips compared to control Web sites lacking such images; also the effect of culture was stronger in the Saudi Arabian setting when using Saudi photos rather than Western photos.