The effects of WebTrust assurance on consumers' web purchase decisions: An experiment

Ruey Dang Chang, Chun Ju Fang, Yee Chy Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of WebTrust assurance, issued by Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms, on web purchase behaviour and to examine such effects provided by different-sized CPA firms. Design/methodology/approach - In an experiment, several scenarios were manipulated to simulate a number of web purchase environments in which participants make decisions online. Findings - The results indicate that the WebTrust assurance seal has a significant effect on consumers' web purchase willingness. An "ordering effect" was also found, in that, removing the seal has more impact than obtaining the seal, and an assurance seal issued by big firms has greater impact than one issued by smaller firms. Originality/value - This study contributes to the existing literature by focusing on an important yet rarely addressed issue of brand assurance services. The paper helps to understand this phenomenon in a global sense. Compared to the student participants used in the previous literature, this experiment provides a practical addition to the prevalent framework of trust in e-commerce studies. Finally the research went a further step to test whether the web assurance provided by different-sized auditors affects web consumers' purchase decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-240
Number of pages23
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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