Trust and Web Interface

Trust and Web Interface

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-353-9.ch009

Abstract

In the brick and mortar world, the trading party makes an assessment of the trustworthiness of the counter party and the trading environment by various physical cues such as physical size of organization, its overall infrastructure, face-to-face interactions, physically examining the product etc. However, in the faceless environment of B2B e-commerce, same physical cues are not available and hence, the trading parties rely on the direct ‘contact point’ - the web-interface or the company’s website/portal to interact and communicate with each other. An effective web interface can induce trust in online environment of B2B e-commerce. The levels of assurance in respect of various dimensions may determine effectiveness of web interface. The present chapter makes an attempt to examine the relationship between the levels of assurance in respect of various dimensions of web interface and the level of trust in B2B e-commerce.
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Trust And Web Interface

Kim et al. (1998) argued that web interface is the combination of user interface and customer interface. While the focus of user interface is more on the ease of learning and ease of use, the customer interface is primarily focused on offering a convenient and enjoyable e-commerce environment. The objective of the B2B e-commerce web-interfaces is to attract potential trading parties and ensure that they transact online. Kim then put forward a research framework and identified four dimensions of customer interface design. Based on these dimensions Wang et al. (2007) proposed trust inducing dimensions (discussed later in this chapter) for effective web interface. Later, a study of the graphic design elements that had the potential to enhance trustworthiness of e-commerce interfaces was carried out by Kim and Moon (1998).

Dayal, Landesberg and Zeisser (1999) and Petrovic et al. (2003) identified six elements formed what was termed as a ‘trust pyramid’ (as discussed in Chapter 3). Tone and consumer collaboration was placed at top of the trust pyramid. Tone element of the trust pyramid refers to design and content of the web interface in enhancing trust among its user. Customer collaboration element of the trust pyramid refers to the various tools used to inform the users about the company and its products and to know other familiar user’s experience with the company. This element is taken up by the present study in the current chapter under the reference of ‘social ability’ of the website. Proper embedding of these elements in a website helps in building an effective web interface that enhances trust in B2B e-commerce.

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