|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management|
|Supervisors:||Assoc. Prof. Parush Avi|
|Prof. Rafaeli Anat|
Ever since the existence of mankind, there have been give and take relations between individuals. During the recent decades, the rapid development of technology has made exchange relations of goods and services via the electronic market possible.
This study focuses on two main psychological structures- level of trust and level of risk perception. Specifically, the purpose of the study is to examine the combined effect of product type, product price, and testimonials on trust and risk perception (and finally on buying intentions).
Two identical e-commerce sites were created for the study- one with testimonials and the other without testimonials. Data was collected from a sample of 183 students that were asked to behave similarly to the way they would behave when using real e-commerce sites.
The results confirmed that the level of risk perception increased with higher prices and the level of trust decreased with higher prices. Product type did not have an additional influence beyond the effect of the product price. Less experienced participants looked for external assurances before deciding if they should buy through the site. Finally, the relation between the product type and price, and the level of trust and risk perception were influenced by testimonials. Their influence was to increase trust and reduce perceived risk and was more significantly pronounced in the relation between price and trust/ risk.
The significance of the research is in the fact that it examines a complete buying process and behavior patterns, in a full e-com site, as compared to the common use of questionnaires of attitudes and perceptions. Furthermore, this study helps to map the impact of each one of the dimensions- product type and product price and finally it helps classify specific products as products with complex concept of use, versus products with simple concept of use.