Commenced in January 2007
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The Impact of Website Personality on Consumers' Initial Trust towards Online Retailing Websites

Authors: Azizah Omar, Jasmine Yeap Ai Leen, T. Ramayah


E-tailing websites are often perceived to be static, impersonal and distant. However, with the movement of the World Wide Web to Web 2.0 in recent years, these online websites have been found to display personalities akin to 'humanistic' qualities and project impressions much like its retailing counterpart i.e. salespeople. This paper examines the personality of e-tailing websites and their impact on consumers- initial trust towards the sites. A total of 239 Internet users participated in this field experiment study which utilized 6 online book retailers- websites that the participants had not previously visited before. Analysis revealed that out of four website personalities (sincerity, competence, excitement and sophistication) only sincerity and competence are able to exert an influence in building consumers- trust upon their first visit to the website. The implications of the findings are further elaborated in this paper.

Keywords: E-Commerce, initial trust, partial least squares, e-tailing, online trust, website personality

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