Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

The Effects of Perceived Interactivity on E-Trust and E-Consumer Behaviors: The Application of Fuzzy Linguistic Scale

Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

The Effects of Perceived Interactivity on E-Trust and E-Consumer Behaviors: The Application of Fuzzy Linguistic Scale

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper identified the components of interactivity and investigated the impact of perceived interactivity on customer trust and transaction intentions in e-commerce. Data for this study were gathered in 2011 by means of a questionnaire administered to a convenience sample of 512 graduate students and business workers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Shanghai, China. Owing to the problem of dilution of measuring results due to the traditional linguistic value in which every scale interval is equal can be solved by using the fuzzy linguistic scale. Therefore, the empirical results indicate that the level of perceived interactivity is a major determinant of e-trust and e-loyalty through the fuzzy linguistic questionnaire. The findings suggest that perceived interactivity has positive effects on the user that ultimately result in e-loyalty behavior. Further, the fuzzy linguistic scale enables researchers not only to deal with different recognition styles, but also to notice differences in individuals by providing different linguistic variable combinations for researching purpose. Finally, the outcomes will be of interest to web designers and online marketers for how to enhance interactive online web applications.

Keywords: Perceived Interactivity, e-Loyalty, e-Trust, Fuzzy linguistic scale, e-Consumer Behaviors

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1. Introduction and Research Background

Over the past decade, the Internet has caused significant changes in the marketing, advertising and communications industries. However, although it is widely acknowledged that the Internet can be an effective marketing tool [Kim, 2011; Park and Park, 2009; Chung and Zhao, 2004; Cook and Coupey, 1998], as well as a medium to maintain good relationships with customers [Liao et al., 2011], very little is known about the factors that make using the Web a compelling experience for its users, and of the key consumer behavior outcomes of this compelling experience. [Chen and Wells, 1999; Korgaonkar and Wolin, 1999]. These pioneering studies have illuminated how interactivity, along with other constructs such as involvement and attitude, can be incorporated into an existing framework of consumer information processing. However, there has been little agreement among researchers on how interactivity should be conceptualized [Heeter, 2000]. Therefore, the aim of the study is to explore the impact of the perceptions of various interactive components on website usage intentions and customer trust in an e-commerce environment, by developing a comprehensive model and employing large empirical sample in our tests. In order to provide a solid theoretical basis for examining consumer behavior in an e-commerce context, this paper integrates two important streams of literature: those on interactivity [Cyr et al., 2009; Dholakia and Fortin, 2000; McMillan and Hwang, 2002], and on trust and e-loyalty [Lee, 2005; Cyr et al., 2009; van der Heijden and Junglas, 2006].

The questionnaire always plays a significant part in social science studies. It is also useful in collecting and analyzing data and in making sure if the assumption is correct. To construct an ordinal scale standard, researchers, for their own convenience, often adopt the Likert Scale and the semantic differential scale on the application of marketing research. However, in empirical studies, these two scales are usually assumed as interval. Studies conducted by scholars domestically and internationally also show that equal-distance scale unavoidably produces the result of incorrect estimate of factors. This paper adopted Chu [2010] the process of a "fuzzy linguistic scale" to solve the linguistic scale transformation problems generated by the traditional quantitative methods based on Likert scale and semantic scale, and to reduce the difficulties of answering the fuzzy questionnaire. Given the lack of theoretical development in terms of the role of interactivity, this study seeks to understand how several key personal characteristics might influence consumer' perception of a website's interactivity. …

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