Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

The Antecedents of Online Brand Trust: Malaysian evidence/Pasitikejimo Internetines Prekes Zenklu Praeitis: Malaizijos Pavyzdys

Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

The Antecedents of Online Brand Trust: Malaysian evidence/Pasitikejimo Internetines Prekes Zenklu Praeitis: Malaizijos Pavyzdys

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Nowadays many consumers are turning to the Internet for most of their shopping needs and concerns. This has created many business opportunities. However, online retailing in Malaysia is still in the early stages of development and its full potential has not been reached yet (Chua Phaik Harn et al. 2006). According to Economist Intelligence Unit (2006) companies whose business plans relied completely on online operations have found it difficult to survive, especially in the business-to-consumer (B2C) area. In 2005 less than 5% of SMEs in Malaysia were involved in B2C businesses. On the other hand, a higher Internet usage has been noted and this paves the way for possible business opportunities of the Internet. This is a positive indicator for the Asian online retailers. Companies should try to instill trust in their brands in order to boost the confidence of consumers to buy their services or products.

Research on brand is becoming more important in the marketing arena as firms are facing competitions both locally and globally. Recently researchers have developed many useful constructs and measurements on brand personality, brand community, brand trust and brand attachment (Carrol and Aaron 2006; Thomson and McInnis 2005; Delgado-Ballester 2003; McAlexander et al. 2002). An empirical study by Chlivickas and Smal-iukiene (2009) have analyzed both emotional and cognitive components of the brand origin. The study mainly tested the direct effects of attributes of local brands on the brand origin of telecoms and food industries in the Baltic Sea region. Another study by Maiksteniene and Auruskeviciene (2008) mainly measured the levels of baby diaper consumer purchase decision involvement in Lithuania. Results show that consumers with differing purchase involvement levels differ in their relative valuation of manufacturer and retailer brands in the same product category. In the present study we are trying to identify the antecedents of online brand trust.

In the past few years several studies on brand trust have been carried out. Scholars are increasingly becoming interested in the issues presented in this area of research due to the fact that consumers are playing the main role for any transactions. For example consumers are willing to transact, and market could function well if consumers trust any brand and the company (Zucker 1986). In any business transaction, brand trust is very important for several reasons. For instance, according to Schurr and Ozanne (1985), trust creates more favorable attitudes towards suppliers as well as customer loyalties. It also helps partners project their exchange relationships into the future (Doney and Cannon 1997). Trust increases competitiveness, reduces searching and transaction costs, and mitigates opportunism in uncertain contexts (Doney and Cannon 1997). Reast (2005) suggests that brands that are trustworthy will benefit more than their less trustworthy competitors.

Online trust is also an important phenomenon in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumers (B2C). With the evolution of new e-business models and the advances in information technology, it brings more challenges than solutions for establishing and maintaining trust in the electronic marketplace (Xiling and Xiangchun 2005). Forrester Research survey in year 2000 found that 51% of companies would not trade with parties they do not trust over online. Goodwin (1996) points out that trust is the grease that keeps the wheels turning. The reason online consumers have yet to shop online in large numbers is that consumers simply do not trust most web providers enough to engage in "relational exchanges" involving money and personal information (Hoffman et al. 1999). Consumers are reluctant to reveal their personal information online. Brands have to establish a certain amount of trust with customers, in order to make the Internet a viable commerce medium. Internet users want to feel that their privacy is being protected. …

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