This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Model for Building Trustworthiness in Online Stores




Lanford, Patricia

Type of Degree



Computer Science and Software Engineering


More and more research is being done everyday in the world of e-commerce as consumers and merchants alike realize how powerful a selling tool the internet has become. Research shows that trust is key to the success of electronic commerce. However, the question of how trust is obtained and sustained online has yet to be answered. What is it that makes an online store trustworthy to consumers? A conceptual model for trustworthiness in online stores was developed from the current literature and then enhanced by an observational study of consumers making actual purchases. The conceptual model identified the situation needed for trustworthiness to be of issue when shopping online, the factors that affect the trustworthiness of an online store, and indicators or outcomes of consumers perceiving an online store to be trustworthy. A questionnaire was conducted and validated the conceptual model. The questionnaire focused on the trustor and trustee characteristics of the model, their relationships with each other, and the relative importance of trustee characteristics. This combination of both qualitative and quantitative data has provided insight into the online shopping experience, which can be built upon to create guidelines.