There always exist a lack of trust in e-commerce merchants21 as well as the social, financial and legal infrastructures of thee-commerce environment. It is trust which acts as a catalyst for humancooperation by allowing the interaction between people and run the economysmoothly. Lack trust wastes our time and resources as we need to spend them toprotect ourselves against possible harms. On the other hand, distrust is alsonecessary 21 to detect the harmful things and avoid them to stay safe. It isa helpful state of mind as we can avoid possible harm when interacting withdishonest people as well as unreliable system.
Lack of trust can act todiscourage the users from using the e-commerce sites though it offers greatflexibilities and comfort. Most of the opportunities are absent on online whichare available in physical to build the trust. The customers can not gain thephysical location of merchant 25 as well as they cannot experience the bodylanguage and the gesture of customer service staff.
This information providesvaluable clues to build trust among the customer and merchant. The work carriedon 21 describes different methods and different works being done to establishthe trust among online communities. Patton choose the works considering thevalue and future potential development. Researchers from 11 different countriescarried out a study 21 to identify the problem of the e-commerce sites beingnot trustable to users.
They ordered 151 orders in total in 17 differentcountries and found out that 9% of the product was not delivered to them.Amount charged was higher in 20% cases and 21% of the cases occurred a problemin refund though the sites advertised that the refund was available. Mediaplays a vital role in spreading fears among the users. So as the customersshare their bad experience, the other customers become afraid to place theorder. Again, the customer who have faced the experience is less likely toplace an order in e-commerce sites soon. So, it can be said that trusts arebuilt through experience. Nielsen 22 pointed to the fact that real trust isbuilt on the base of actual behavior of a company towards the customer overtime.
He also described 23 that trust is difficult to build and easy to lose.Egger in 24 described four factors in their model of trust which is built fore-commerce sites. The factors are as followed, 1.
Brand Reputation and Previous offlineexperience.2. User Interface including graphic design, contentorganization etc.3.
Information provided about products andservices.4. Relationship management consisting ofpost-purchase communication and customer service.
As trust is built on the experience and interaction 22, itis hard for the newcomers in the e-commerce sites to establish an initial trustand harder for the one whose brand is not well established in offline also25. Without the initial trust merchant will not be able to build a goodtransactional history and without the transaction he will not be able to buildthe trust either. So, it is a great challenge for the new merchants ine-commerce sites. As they do not equal chance to compete with the merchants whohave built the trust, they often try to gain trust in wrong ways. Severalresearches have carried out researches to find out the impact of web interface21 on trustworthiness. Fogg 26 performed a quantitative study and found out51 different web elements that have affected the people. From this study sevenguidelines were proposed to create websites that are highly credible. Some ofthem are keeping the website user friendly, control the linking of outsidesources, avoiding broken links and typographical errors etc.
Further Fogg foundthat 26 banner ads with high reputability can also affect the credibility ofthe website in a positive way. Nielsen 23 made some recommendation to buildtrustworthiness. These recommendations include the following. 1.
Easy to find company information.2. Fair pricing that includes details of taxes andshipping costs.
3. Balanced information about products.4. Professional website design.5.
Clear and friendly privacy, security and returnpolicy. Effective navigation is another fact 21 for communicatingtrust in e-commerce sites. Privacy is another major concern for the people whouses e-commerce sites. Privacy related concerns includes identity theft,harassing phone calls, selling of data to third party etc.
In1, Zacharia described that online communities are bringing people togetherwhom are geographically unrelated to each other. Most of the communities arebuilt in the form of chatrooms, discussion groups, newsgroups etc. But the lackof information about the users in these communities cause a lot of suspicionamong the members.
Again, when a newcomer joins the chatroom or a news groupthere are no certain way by which he can be trusted unless the active membersformed trust over the time. On the other hand, the old members don’t knowwhether to take a new member seriously or not. Zacharia 1 also showed that ifthe group has lots of traffic and the noise to signal ratio becomes high, itbecomes very hard for a newcomer to filter the interesting messages. Similarscenarios can occur in online auction sites like Kasbah, eBay etc. Theseauction sites introduce two major trust issues. One of the issue is that thebuyer in these sites do not have any physical access to the products they arebidding for. So, it becomes very much easy for the dishonest sellers tomispresent the condition or quality of the product.
From the dishonest customerside, he might never agree to buy the product even after completing thebidding. The customer might also provide fake address, or he might even refuseto pay after getting the product. Reputation brokering mechanism was shown as asolution to the such problems in 1. By following this mechanism, a user cancustomize his/her pricing strategies according to the risk got from thereputation values of his/her counterpart. Zacharia 1 also described otherapproaches like Yenta, Weaving a web of trust etc. These Reputation Systems requirethe users to rate themselves and the other trusted users to verify theirtrustworthiness.
However, it is very a unlike scenario that a user will markhim/herself as an untrustworthiness user. Every single new member would requirethe verification of his trustworthiness by other trustworthy users. One of thegood example of a rating system could be the Elo and the Glicko 5 which isused to rate the players of game especially the chess. If the winner is the onewith higher rating them his opponent, then the change in the rating isnegatively related to their rating before the game. Otherwise if the winnersrating was less that the looser then the change in the rating will bepositively related to their rating difference before the game. The methods usedin eBay, Amazon, OnSale Exchange is also described in 1. OnSale allowed itsusers to rate the sellers.
The overall reputation of a seller is just thecalculated average of all his/her ratings 1. There are three possible ways aseller can achieve