Consumer Trust and Confidence in Internet Commerce

Consumer Trust and Confidence in Internet Commerce

Shahul Hameed (Kolej Tafe Seremban, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-01-3.ch003
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The Internet network is rapidly becoming more and more popular among companies as an avenue to do business. It has made it easy for them to advertise, market their products and services, and communicate with their customers. Advertising and marketing on the Internet offers the promise of huge profits. Sellers, though, are not the only ones to reap benefits from the Internet. Purchasing products over the Net has also become extremely beneficial. It is faster than the traditional process of mail ordering, and various on-line support forums provide advice that is not found in manuals, catalogs, or brochures. Over the last few years, retail and computer experts have called the Internet the hottest marketing trend and the new consumer market. There are a number of benefits which Internet commerce could potentially deliver to consumers—convenience, wide choice of products, better product information, new types of products and services, and even lower prices. Nevertheless, the actual volume of consumer buying on the Internet is still small, a tiny fraction of worldwide consumer purchases. At the heart of this phenomenon of Internet commerce are the most essential concerns of the consumer—trust, confidence, and protection. Trust, itself, represents an evaluation of information, an analysis that requires decisions about the value of specific information in terms of several factors. Methodologies are being constructed to evaluate information more systematically, to generate decisions about increasingly complex and sophisticated relationships. In turn these methodologies about information and trust will strongly influence the growth of the Internet as a medium for commerce. In this new business environment, consumers find themselves increasingly in the driver’s seat, holding a tremendous amount of purchasing power over providers and sellers. They are empowered because they now have access to a worldwide assortment of suppliers—the Web gives them the power to buy from anyone, anywhere, anytime. The consumers, therefore, want to have control over the collection and use of their personal data and to have appropriate redress mechanisms available in the event of a problem.

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