Increasing Online Purchasing: A Study Of Web Assurance And Web Insurance

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C. Shane Warrick
Terrye A. Stinson


Web assurance, web assurance seals, assurance and insurance concepts, online purchasing intention, consumer trust


Improving customer confidence is an important consideration, and potentially necessary ingredient, for increasing growth in electronic commerce. More than 1.2 billion people are internet users and, of that number, more than 215 million internet users live in the United States (Miniwatts Marketing Group 2008). Internet use in the United States, in fact, is second only to internet use in China (Barboza 2008). In its most recent study, the National Retail Federation (2008) estimated that U.S. online retail sales are approaching $204 billion. Past studies identified issues associated with customer concerns in online transactions, and various forms of web assurance and web insurance have emerged as commercial mechanisms to ease these concerns and promote growth in ecommerce. Both mechanisms require strategic controls by a company developing its ecommerce information system. This paper continues the stream of research aimed at understanding how consumers view online purchasing with a focus on internet users in the United States. Results indicate that participants increase purchase intentions from vendors with either web assurance or web insurance, but that participants are indifferent regarding the choice of web assurance or web insurance. Recognizing these benefits, vendors should design strong controls within ecommerce information systems that support acquisition of either web assurance or web insurance that validate system security.


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