Trust, Perceived Benefit, and Purchase Intention in C2C E-Commerce: An Empirical Examination in China

Trust, Perceived Benefit, and Purchase Intention in C2C E-Commerce: An Empirical Examination in China

Shukuan Zhao (Jilin University, Changchun, China), Yiwen Fang (Jilin University, Changchun, China), Weiyong Zhang (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA) and Hong Jiang (Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.2020010107
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It is a class research question about how trust and perceived benefit affect consumers' purchase intentions. This research examines the relationship in a very different context: consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce in China. Specifically, this research empirically assesses the differences in effect size due to the change of context. First, a theoretical model linking trust, perceived benefit, and their antecedents to purchase intention is developed upon the literature. Then the model is evaluated using empirical data collected at Taobao, the largest C2C e-commerce website in China. Partial least squares based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) results strongly support the model and research hypotheses. A developing country context can indeed affect the strength of effect. These results contribute to the literature in that they provide new insights toward a more in-depth theoretical understanding. Meanwhile, they can also provide useful guidance for managers.
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The turn of the millennium is characterized by an extremely fast growth of the Internet. Since its inception in the early 1990s, the Internet has brought tremendous changes to virtually all aspects of human life (Bi et al., 2017, 2018; Civerchia, Bocchino, et al. 2017; Cheng et al 2018; Finogeev and Finogeev, 2017; Gholami, Taboun and Brennan, 2018; Gorkhali & Xu, 2016; Gürdür and Asplund, 2018; Kim 2017; Lai et al 2017; Li, Xu, & Zhao, 2018; Lu 2017; Peruzzini and Stjepandić, 2018; Tan, Jiang, Gu, 2017; Xiao et al 2014; Xu, He, & Li, 2014; Yang, Stankevicius, Marozas et al., 2018). Among all changes, e-commerce is obviously one of the most significant. E-commerce today has developed into a common, daily activity for consumers (Turban, King, Lee, & Viehland, 2002). The past two decades have witnessed numerous new technologies that enabled the deployment of a plethora of e-commerce websites such as Amazon and eBay. Since the Internet does not have a national or geographical boundary, businesses that provide e-commerce are enthusiastic about leveraging the opportunity to reach more customers, further reduce cost and improve profit.

Among all the interesting research questions, a crucial one has attracted many researchers’ attention: What factors affect consumers’ purchase behavior? It is a classic research question that dates back to the 1970s in marketing research. Built upon the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), marketing scholars have suggested that trust and perceived benefit significantly affect consumers’ purchase intention, which in turn guides their purchase behaviors (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). As the Internet and e-commerce becomes increasingly popular and pervasive (Assarzadeh and Aberoumand, 2018; Cai et al 2014; Fan et al., 2014; Fang et al 2014; Li, Oikonomou, Tryfonas, et al., 2014; Liu et al., 2017; Lu 2018; Lu and Xu, 2018; Mao et al 2016; Qi et al 2017; Viriyasitavat and Hoonsopon, 2018; Wang, et al., 2014; Xu, 2011; Xu et al 2018; Yan, et al., 2018; Zhai et al 2016; Zheng et al 2014), information systems and information technology (IS/IT) researchers have shown that the same model is not confined to brick-and-mortar businesses, but also applies to e-commerce or online shopping (Kim, Ferrin, & Rao, 2008). There are conclusive evidences on how trust and perceived benefit affect purchase intention.

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