Electronic Commerce Research

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 459–496 | Cite as

An examination of trust assurances adopted by top internet retailers: unveiling some critical determinants

  • Farhod P. Karimov
  • Malaika Brengman


This paper investigates the different trust assurances adopted by internet retailers and tries to identify a link between the characteristics of an online vendor (i.e., cost of merchandise sold, reputation, offline presence, etc...) and the specific types of trust assurances applied. The findings demonstrate that e-retailers with a relatively stronger reputation rely more on internally provided e-assurance mechanisms, such as a privacy policy or a money back guarantee, and that they make less use of third party trust endorsements. Internally-provided e-assurances also appear to be utilized more by e-retailers putting more expensive products on the market and less by those selling cheaper products. The findings regarding externally-provided e-assurances also show that third party trust endorsements such as privacy seals, security seals and award seals are adopted almost exclusively by e-retailers who sell more expensive products as compared to those selling products lower in monetary value. The results demonstrate that these findings regarding the impact of the ‘monetary value of goods traded’ on the adoption of externally-provided e-assurances remain valid when controlling for ‘reputation’ and ‘offline presence’. The results also reveal that total seal investments are higher among e-commerce companies with a weaker ‘reputation’, among those ‘without offline presence’, and among e-tailers selling relatively ‘more expensive merchandise’.


Trust assurances Trust seals B2C e-commerce Content analysis 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their helpful and constructive suggestions. Special thanks for Prof. dr. Jaafar El-Murad (Head of Department of Business Strategy and Marketing at University of Westminster, London) for proofreading and correcting the English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BusinessWestminster International University in TashkentTashkentUzbekistan
  2. 2.Department of Business (BUSI) – Marketing and Consumer Behavior Research UnitVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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