1.     Introduction – Online Shopping

The extensive of the internet has opened a lot of new dimensions for different business. This usage of the internet has been a focus for the companies who want to increase their sale by reaching maximum number of people. People are using internet accessing different websites using their personal computers, smart phones and other such modern devices. It seems to be quite good for the business that the company can get into the eyes of millions of people every day. Only appearance on the internet will cause the business of the company to grow. The people who think only developing a website and launching it over the internet will boost their business, and then they are quite wrong. It is good to have appearance on the internet but it is not at all. There are number of other factors that must be taken into consideration while moving towards online business. It is called E-Commerce. There are many E-Commerce websites working over the internet for many years. Only there are few websites on which every customer trusts and provides its very important personal information to carry out the transactions. These websites were successful in building their trust with the customer for their services for many years. However, there are many E-Commerce websites on which the customers do not trust and they are afraid to share their information. The reason is that the customers are also aware of the fact that these E-Commerce websites are the main focus of the hackers. They are always looking for E-Commerce websites so that they can steal information like credit card number and other access information. That is why the customers are mostly reluctant to conduct transaction on E-Commerce websites. It is one of the biggest hurdles for E-Commerce websites. There is need to create customer’s trust on E-Commerce website so that they can purchase different products. If the websites fail to establish the customer’s trust, the company will never be successful in this age. In this paper we will be focusing on the factors that act as a hurdle in building customer’s trust on E-Commerce websites. First we will find out those factors and then formulate a new model that can be implemented. This process is quite lengthy and it will take time. However, once the process of finding out the trust factors is completed, it will be very easy to develop a new model that will attract more new customers towards E-commerce websites. These findings will surely help in identifying the fear factors of the customers and develop a new model that will build the customer’s trust on the E-Commerce websites and they can shop easily. This paper will mainly focus on finding out the factors that act as a hurdle between the customers and E-commerce websites. Furthermore, this paper will formulate a new model that will help the E-Commerce website to build the customer’s trust so that they can share their important information like credit cards and other information that is mandatory to carry out the transaction.

2.     Literature Review and Critical Evaluation

E-Commerce has been attraction of great number of people who use internet and keep on looking for different products for purchasing. If we talk about a shop in real world, then the customers can easily trust on the shop as they can see the seller and interact with him as well. However, if we talk about E-Commerce website of a company, in this case, the customer is only able to see the website and the products that the seller is offering. In this way, it is hard for the customer to trust the website and share its personal information over the website. The other reason is that the user will be interacting with the website and the computers, who are unaware of the seller. This field has been of great interest of many researchers and extensive work has been done in this domain.  Everyone has a different point of view and looks on the different factors that may affect the trust of a customer on E-Commerce website. Some of the researchers believe that the interface of the website is the main factor that builds the trust of the customer on E-Commerce website.

3.     Factors Affecting Customer’s Trust in E-Commerce

i.       User Interface

The user interface of the website is important factor in building the trust of the customer. It is the first interaction of the customer with the website when the user accesses some of the products displayed on the website by the company. There are many people who think that the user interface of the website helps in creating trust of the customer. Egger explained this process and presented a model for trustworthiness of the customer on the website. He presented a formula for the E-Commerce website and called it MoTEC that stands for Model of Trust for Electronic Commerce. His idea was that when the customer visits a website there are some of the following aspects that he has in his mind while interacting with the website. His model has the following factors, Reputation, Familiarity, and Attitude. The customer before interacting the website has an image about the website that may be from some online or offline source. When the customer interacts with the website, the familiarity and ease of use attracts the customer and builds a sort of trust.

The most important thing according to Egger for customer trustworthiness is its Attitude, which in terms of website is its appearance and presentation. Looking at the MoTEC if can find out that the main reason of customer’s trust is the reputation of the website that the customer can come to know through some offline source like friends or family member. However it is not quite sure that how the attitude of the website can build the trust for the website. If a website is designed well and it attracts that visitors only, but it will never convert those visitors into customers. The reason is that the customer is looking for the security of information and his money. If the website fails to ensure the customer that his information will be in safe hands, the customer will never share its information with the website. A good design and appearance of the website will give many visitors to the website but not the customers.

ii.    Usability

The usability of E-Commerce website is also considered to be a factor in affecting the trust of the customer. If the website is not user friendly, and the customer fails to feel ease at accessing the website and products in it, the customer will not trust the website. In another research Egger in collaboration with Groot proved that the usability of the website is also helpful in building the trust of the customer in E-Commerce website. If E-Commerce website’s design is not good enough to be easily used by the customer, the customer will feel uneasy and it will be hard for the customer to trust the website. In this research, Egger and Groot said that the usability of the website will build the trust of the customer. It is not an exact trust factor. The reason is that the usability of the website will only ensure the customer that the customer is feeling relaxed in finding out the products and moving around other products of website easily. In this research, the factor of security is again missing that is the most important barrier for the customer. If the customer is not ensured about the privacy of his information, no customer will be agreed upon performing a transaction with the E-Commerce website. Usability is an important factor for E-Commerce website but will not give customers for the company. The usability of the website is good when the customer is satisfied and his trust is built on the website.

iii. Graphic Designs

Another very interesting factor that should be taken into account while talking about E-Commerce websites is the design of the website that will involve the customers emotionally. Emotions are very important when it comes to decision taking in social life and it also implies in electronic commerce websites (Kim and Moon). They focused on the point that the design of E-Commerce website should be emotive that will involve the customer and build a trust into the website. Kim and Moon experimented and related different factors that may be helpful in building trust of the customer. Those factors were emotional and design which brings out the emotional thinking of the customers. The emotive design of the website can be helpful in building customer’s trust because the emotions are always involved in making decisions. In the same way, when the customer visit E-Commerce website, then he can be emotionally inspired by the design of the website and trust the seller. However, it is not always true for all the customers. Every customer has his own thinking that will build his trust. The trust factor in this case neither is completely ignored nor completed supported as it is not applicable to all types of the customers.

iv.  Familiarity and Security

On the other hand; another research that the familiarity and the security of the E-Commerce website are very important factors, that will build the trust of the customer on the website (Nilashi, et.al. 2011). There are many researches that have shown different factors that will be affecting the trust of the customer on E-Commerce website. However, no one is exactly sure about how to build the trust of the customer. It is already known that most of the customers do not trust the website because of the security factor. Nilashi, et al stated that the familiarity with the website and its security will build the trust of the customer. In this case it is true that the security of the website will surely build the trust of the customer. The stronger the security of the website, the customer will trust more on the website and will happily conduct transaction. The reason is that most of the customers are reluctant to share their information because of the security fear. Once the fear about the security is cleared from the mind of the customer, he will easily do transaction with E-Commerce website.

Another research done related to trust of customer in E-Commerce website revealed that more and more customers will attract if the security of the website is good. Al-Dwairi, conducted a survey and found out that the security is the most powerful factor that is affecting the customer’s trust in E-Commerce website. The survey showed that 72% of the persons on the E-Commerce website are not willing to share their sensitive information because of they are not aware of the security of their information. If the website will ensure the customers about the security of the information, then they will surely provide their important information for transaction. Moreover, this research showed that 62% of the visitors believe that a seal of security on the website will build their trust on the website.

 

v.     Privacy

Another factor that affects the trust of the customer on the website is privacy of their information. The customers are afraid to share information because they think that their information may be shared with unauthorized persons who will make wrong of the information. The websites should focus on the privacy of the customers so that they are sure of the fact their information will always be safe. For this purpose, cryptography is a good practice that can be implemented in this domain. The results obtained from the research show that 72% of the respondents believe that use of cryptography will enhance their trust on the website (Al-Dwairi, 2013).

vi.  Content

Content on the E-Commerce website is also very important. The customer will never be able to view the product in reality only the images of the product will be shown to him. In this way, if the complete description of the product will be missing on the website, then the customer will never be able to trust on the website. A great number of respondents in the research done by Al-Dwairi reveal that; 77% of the respondents want that the complete and exact information about the product will enhance their interest in the website and they will surely do transaction with such website. It is quite right; it will surely make the customer believe that the E-Commerce website is telling everything about the product and the customer will feel easy as it normally does in the real world purchasing scenario.

4.     Conclusion

Every customer on E-Commerce website thinks differently while conducting any transaction over the internet. The main factors or fear of the customer on E-Commerce website is that his important and personal information should not be leaked or misused. It is the primary factor that will affect the trust of the customer on E-Commerce website. It does not mean that the other factors are not important. The other factors are also important as well. The user interface of the website also helps in building the trust of the customer and it feels easy to access the content on the website. Moreover other factors are important like usability, graphic design, privacy and content. All these factors should be taken into consideration while moving towards E-Commerce websites. As there are different customers who will be accessing E-Commerce website and their acceptance levels will vary as well. Some will be attracted by the design and usability of the website and trust the website. On the other hand, some will go for the security of the website before trusting it. Everything is important when it comes to the development of trust of the customer. If these factors will be missing then the E-Commerce website will be able to get the visitors but not the customers.

 

5.     Reference:

Al-Dwairi, R.M. (2013). E-Commerce Web Sites Trust Factors: An Empirical Approach. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.m-hikari.com/ces/ces2013/ces1-4-2013/aldwairiCES1-4-2013.pdf

Egger, F.N. & B. de Groot (2000). Developing a Model of Trust for Electronic Commerce: An Application to a Permissive Marketing Web Site. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.telono.com/fr/nos-articles/developing-model-of-trust-for-electronic-commerce-an-application-to-permissive-marketing-web-site/

Egger, F.N. (1999). Human Factors in Electronic Commerce: Making Systems Appealing, Usable & Trustworthy. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.telono.com/en/articles/human-factors-in-electronic-commerce-making-systems-appealing-usable-and-trustworthy/

Eid, M.I. 2011. DETERMINANTS OF E-COMMERCE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, TRUST, AND LOYALTY IN SAUDI ARABIA.

Erin, C. and Kim, Y.K. The Effects of Website Designs, Self-Congruity, and Flow on Behavioral Intention. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.ijdesign.org/ojs/index.php/IJDesign/article/viewFile/1156/470

Head, M. M. and Hassanein, K. 2002. Trust in e-Commerce: Evaluating the Impact of Third-Party Seals. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.business.mcmaster.ca/is/Head/Articles/Trust%20in%20e-Commerce-%20Evaluating%20the%20Impact%20of%20Third-Party%20Seals.pdf

Kim, J. and Moon, J.Y. Emotional Usability of Customer Interfaces – Focusing on Cyber Banking System Interfaces. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.sigchi.org/chi97/proceedings/short-talk/jki.htm

McKnight, D.H. and Chervany, N.L. 2002. What Trust Means in E-Commerce Customer Relationship: A Interdisciplinary Conceptual Typology. Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.93.6110&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Nilashi, M., Bagherifard, K., Ibrahim, O., Janahmadi, N. and Barisami, M. (2011). Retrieved 11th November 2013 from http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=8656‎