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Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(6): 307-315, 2013

ISSN 1991-8178

Online Purchase Intention: Effects of Trust and Security Perception


Fatemeh Meskaran, Zuraini Ismail and Bharani Shanmugam
Advanced Informatics School (AIS), UniversitiTeknologi Malaysia (UTM) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Abstract: The fast growth of e-commerce and online transaction motivate many companies to set up
business over Internet. Since using Internet to purchase online is still poor in comparison with other
online activities, exploring factors that effect on online purchase intention is necessary. Theory of
Planned Behavior (TPB), Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Theory Acceptance Model (TAM)
are the underpinning theories involved in investigating factors that affect online purchase intention.
Trust and security are known as two main factors that affect online purchase intention based on related
literatures, so it is believed that antecedents of trust and security are imperative in improving online
purchase intention. This paper seeks to explore the antecedents of trust and security and proposes a
comprehensive model for online purchase intention taking into consideration its direct effect factors.
Key words: E-commerce; Online purchase intention; Trust; Security.
INTRODUCTION
The number of online users has increased rapidly. According to an estimation by an Online Retail Forecast
in 2012, online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, an upward growth of 45% from
$226 billion in 2012 and 62% growth from $202 billion in 2011(Forrester analyst, Sucharita Mulpuru, 2011).
The growth of online shopping in other Asian countries such as Malaysia is also placed in the high rate
category. It was stated that Malaysians spent RM 1.8billion on online shopping in 2011, and this figure is
expected to almost triple in three years, according to the Nielsen Company study which was commissioned by
PayPAl. Alternatively, there seems to be huge number of online users that use Internet for other online activities
particularly, checking email. It was noted that the use of Internet centered on information seeking about
products instead of online purchasing. A study done by Hamid and Khatibi (2006) revealed that slightly over
three quarter (76%) of Malaysian, especially younger people were using the internet largely for non-shopping
activities such as seeking information, playing games, entertainment, or communicating with friends.
Subsequently Nielsen (2011) report confirms that Email was found to be the most popular online activity
undertaken by Malaysian digital consumers. Communicating via social networks, accessing online news and
using search engines follows.
Security issues are known to be of topmost concern for online shoppers according to Neilsons study in
Malaysia (2011), where seven out of ten shoppers are willing to spend more via online if the safety measures
were to be increased. Building online trust and managing the risks of the online transactions with the objective
of increasing online purchases is identified to be the most important limitations for online purchase intention.
Besides these challenges, security, authentication, fraud, and risk of loss are also known as main concerns (Rao,
2002). Consumers perceive online shopping as being more risky than the offline mode provides the satisfaction
of physical purchase where a customer can see, feel and touch the products prior to the purchase made (Heijden
et al., 2003)
With increasing number of studies (Ranganthan and Sanjeev, 2007; Chen and Barnes, 2007; Delafrooz et
al., 2011) focusing on online purchasing and the prevalent issues on trust and security, customers awareness on
the limitations of e-commerce while demand for more secured online environment. Therefore, this paper seeks
to explore factors that affect online purchase intention based on basic theories (TRA, TPB and TAM), and
attempts to propose a comprehensive model. In addition, antecedents of trust and security will be considered
taking into consideration of any direct effect factors.
This paper begins with an introduction. Section 2 follows with the definition of online purchase intention.
Related works on online purchase intention including related theories and factors that affect online purchase
intention will be reviewed in section 3. Section 4 follows, in reviewing current models for online purchase
intention. In next section, a comprehensive model is designed. Finally, the paper concludes this study.
Definition of Online Purchase Intention:
Online purchase intention can be defined as a situation where a consumer is willing and intends to make
online transactions (Pavlou, 2003). This term is used when customers willingness to search, select and purchase
products via the Internet. George (2004) and similarly, Khalifa and Limayem (2003) defined internet
purchasing behavior as a process of purchasing products, services and information via the Internet, they defined
Corresponding Author: Fatemeh Meskaran, Advanced Informatics School (AIS), UniversitiTeknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
E-mail: mfatemeh7@live.utm.my

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this term based on earlier definition of Azjen and Fishbein (1980) on customer behavior and intention. George
(2004) stated that because of customer concerns about personal information and privacy, many consumers do
not shop online. The buying behavior of online customers is related to how customers make their decisions on
what product or services to purchase online. The Internet affects customer decision-making behavior in all three
stages of pre-purchase, purchase and post purchase (Sheth and Mittal, 2004). Therefore, customer online
purchase intention in the web-shopping environment will determine the power of a consumers intention to do a
purchasing behavior via the Internet (Salisbury et al., 2001). By virtue of past works, this paper defines online
purchase intention as customers willingness with intention to purchase behavior via the Internet.
Online Purchase Intention and Recent Studies:
The intentional measures are more effective than behavioral measures to getting customers mind as
customer may make purchases due to limitations instead of real preference when purchase is considered (Day,
1969). Many researchers have attempted to investigate factors influencing the online purchasing process over
the past decade. The following sub-section presents the related empirical studies.
1.

Related Theories:
The most frequently used theories for studying behavioral intention in technological studies were the
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is adopted by Davis in (1998), Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is
adopted by Ajzen in (1985) and Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) by Fishben and Ajzen in (1975).
TRA is one of the most fundamental and influential theories of human behavior. It has been used to predict
a wide range of behaviors. It is applied to individual acceptance of technology. The TRA specifies that
behavioral intention is a function of two factors: attitude towards behavior and subjective norm. Attitude
refers to the persons own performance of the behavior rather that to his/her performance in general. Subjective
norm is a function of a set of beliefs termed as normative beliefs. Normative beliefs are concerned with the
likelihood that important referent individuals or groups would approve or disapprove of performing the
behavior.
TPB extended TRA by adding the perceived behavioral control. In TPB, perceived behavioral control is
theorized to be an additional determinant of intention and behavior. It is an extension of TRA for conditions
where individuals do not have full control over the situation. According to this theory, every human action is
based on three factors including: behavioral beliefs about the likely outcomes of the behavior and the
evaluations of these outcomes, normative beliefs about the normative expectations of others and motivation to
comply with these expectations and control beliefs about the resources and opportunities observed (or not
observed) by the individual, and the anticipated obstacles or barriers towards performing the target behavior.
TAM also is a development of TRA; it is tailored to IS contexts, and was designed to predict information
technology acceptance and usage on the job. Unlike TRA, the final conceptualization of TAM excludes the
attitude construct in order to better explain intention economically. TAM has been widely applied to a diverse
set of technologies and users. In this theory, intention is determined by the persons attitude toward the use of
that technology and his/ her perception concerning its usefulness. Attitudes are formed from the beliefs a person
holds about the use of the technology. The first belief perceived usefulness (PU) is the users subjective
probability that using a specific application system will increase his or her job performance. Perceived ease of
use (PEU), is the degree to which the user expects the target system to be free of efforts.
These three theories are used for better understanding on the relationships between belief, attitude, and
behavioral intention of consumers when buying products online too. A summary of these three theories is
depicted in Table 1. The first column showed the theory model involved while second column outlines the
related concepts. The third column highlights the factors that affect behavior intention. Researchers that had
recognized these theories in their work were listed in the last column.
TRA has been used in many consumer behavior studies, but it does not consider as external variables. The
TPB has been used in studies looking in to attitude and beliefs in complex situation or not well understood
concepts. Past researches had shown TAM is found to be suitable for situations involving social pressure in
adopt technology, therefore, it maybe apply to online purchasing setting. Many Information Systems studies
have been conducted based on the TAM (Choi et al., 2003; Wen et al., 2011; Delafrooz et al., 2011). Table 1
summarizes attitude as the only factor that effects on behavior intention directly. However, work of Davis et al.,
1989 found that attitude is a non-significant factor on online purchase intention. More recent researches of Lin
et al., 2010 and Wen et al., 2011 have eliminated the role of attitude from their model too. Figure.1 shows the
factors that effect on online purchase Intention based on the three main theories.

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Table 1: Theories used in the literature (Developed for this paper).


Theory
Related Concepts
TRA
Behavior is preceded by
intentions and the intentions are
determined by the individuals
attitude toward the behavior and
the individuals subjective
norms.
TPB
Perceived behavioral control
influences both intentions and
behavior. Behavior is also
affected by habit and
encouragement.

TAM
Perceived usefulness (PU) and
perceived ease of use (PEOU)
effect on individual intention.

Belief + Evaluation Attitude


Normative Belief + Motivation
Subjective norm
Attitude + Subjective Norms
Behavioral Intention
Behavioral Intention Actual
Behavior
Belief + Evaluation Attitude
Normative Belief +Motivation
Subjective Norms
Control Behavior + Perceived
Facilitation Perceived Behavioral
Control
Attitude + Subjective Norms +
Perceived Behavioral Behavioral
Intention
Behavioral Intention Behavior
External variablesPerceived
Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use
Perceived Usefulness + Perceived
Ease of Use Attitude
AttitudeBehavioral Intention
Behavioral Intention Behavior

Effective factor on
behavior intention
Attitude
Subject norm

Theory cited by
Chen and Well 1999;
Bezjian et al., 1998;
Goerge, 2004; Battacherjee,
2000

Attitude
Subject norm
Perceived behavioral
control

Shim et al. 2001; Limayen,


et al.,2000; Choi et al.,
2003; Barnett and Presley,
2004;
Delafrooz et al., 2011
Goerge, 2004; Battacherjee,
2000
Timothy and Sulaiman,
2008. Swidi et al., 2012

Attitude

Lin et al., 2010


Choi et al., 2003; Park and
Kim, 2003; Heijden et al.
2003; Delafrooz et al.,
2011; Wen et al., 2011

Figure1. Influencing factors on online purchase intention based on three main theories (TRA, TPB and TAM)
2.

Perceived Trust:
Trust is known as an important factor in the buyer-seller relationships and online purchase intention in
electronic commerce (Jarvenpaa et al., 1998; Zhou et al., 2007; Naveed and Eddaoudi 2009; Yulihasri et al.
2011; Swidi et al., 2012). In the context of e-commerce, trust includes the online consumer beliefs and
expectancies of characteristics of the online seller (McKnight et al., 2002). Kraeuter (2002) identifies trust as
the most significant long-term barrier for understanding the potential of e-commerce to consumers in online
environment. People make important buying decisions based on their level of trust in the product, salesperson,
and/or the company (Kim et al., 2008). Alternatively, trust can be define as willingness of consumer to
interpretation to the possibility of loss during shopping process, according to this definition, trust can be
considered as a kind of behavioral intention too (Gefen et al., 2003).
Some studies identified trust as a factor that affects attitude and risk (Jarvenpaa et al., 1999; Heijden et al.,
2003; Thompson and Liu, 2007; Kim et al., 2008; Meskaran et al., 2010).Consequently, willingness to buy is
influenced by attitude and risk. It is found that lack of trust generates a negative effect on willingness to online
purchasing activities. NECTEC (2006) affirmed that more than 63 percent of online users do not shop online
due to lack of trust. Trust is a factor with strong direct effect on online purchase intention too (Tariq and
Eddaoudi, 2009). Similarly, Heijden et al., 2003; Kim et al., 2008 and Delafrooz et al., 2011 have viewed trust
as one of the antecedents of online purchase intention. In addition, only works of Heijden et al., (2003) and
Delafrooz et al., 2011revealed trust as the most significant factor influencing online purchase intention. Table.2
iterates the list of trust antecedent itemizing the factors and the related works.

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Table 2: Antecedents of trust perception.


No
Factor
1
Reputation

Reference
Jarvenpaa et al., 1999; Peszynski and Thanasankit, 2002; Thomson and Liu,
2007; Kim et al., 2008; Meskaran et al., 2010.

Cybercrime

Dayal et al., 1999; McKnight et al., 2002; Nelson Sofres, 2003; Furnell, 2004.

Risk

Peszynski and Thanasankit, 2002; Jarvenpaa et al., 1999; Gefen et al., 2003;
Thompson and Liu, 2007; Kim et al., 2008; Meskaran et al., 2010.

Security (System assurance)

Thompson and Liu, 2007; Kini and Choobineh, 1980; Ambrose and Johnson,
1998.

Attitude

Jarvenpaa et al., 1999; Thompson and Liu, 2007; Heijden et al., 2003;
Meskaran et al., 2010.

Type of payment

Efendioglu et al., 2003; Hawak, 2004; Meskaran et al., 2010.

3.

Consumer Perception on Security:


Security issue as one of the customer concerns has been cited in online purchasing studies (Flavian et al.,
2006; Chang and Chen, 2008; Naveed and Addoudi, 2009). It is agreed by researchers that security is not only a
technical challenge, and it includes human and organizational aspects too. It means that even when the best
technical approaches and solutions are used by a company, without considering the perception of customers on
secured website, then these technical solutions may be irrelevant.
Security perception is defined as the degree to which person believes that the online vendor or website is
secure. It is a considerable issue for transferring important information like credit card details (Salisbury, 2001).
Perception of security is classified as objective and subjective security issues. Customer objective refers to
measures like security policy statement and technical protection, while subjective security refers to overall
perceived security (Chellappa and Pavlou, 2002). Chang and Chen (2008) emphasize that the Internet is not an
environment for a secure online shopping, so security must be utilized and considered by online websites to
protect customers data, they mentioned that online websites are the main target of attackers.
Among the current models for on line purchase intention, Belanger et al., 2002; Park and Kim, 2003 and
Delafrooz et al., 2011 regarded security issue as a factor that effect on online purchase intention. Sharma and
Yurcik (2004) have mentioned attitude toward security, experience about security features, features of website
and showing third party security seal as the factors that affect security perception. They suggested that security
issue can be studied like trust as a perception issue from consumer view. Furnell (2004) mentions that showing
policy statements and also presenting third party seals like Verisign in website are effective factors on
perception of security from the consumer viewpoint. In another study by Tsai and Yeh (2010), consumers
perception of security of online vendors is known as a major concern of decision making by consumers. They
found that website design (website features), efficiency service quality, product quality information and
transaction and delivery capability as factors that are related to perceived risk of information security and
purchase intention. A summary of antecedents for security is presenting in Table3. The names of factors that
affect security are shown in first column. In second column, list of references that are studied those factors are
showing.
Table 3: Antecedents of security perception.
No
Factors
1
Attitude
2
Experience about security features
3
Features of website
4
Showing third party seals
5
Efficiency service quality
6
Product quality
7
Showing policy statement

References
Sharma and Yurcik ,2004
Sharma and Yurcik ,2004
Sharma and Yurcik ,2004; Tsai and Yeh , 2010
Sharma and Yurcik ,2004; Frunell, 2005
Tsai and Yeh , 2010
Tsai and Yeh , 2010
Frunell, 2005

4.

Perceived Risk Influencing on Online Purchase Intention:


The perceived risk concept was introduced by Bauer (1960). He defined it as amount of risk that is
perceived by consumer in selecting or making decision in a purchasing process. Liang and Huang (1998) found
that online shopping intention depends on the degree of perceived risk. Consumers generally associate a higher
level of risk with non-store purchase rather than store purchase. Unlike offline consumers, online consumers are
concerned with risks involved in buying on the Web such as credit card, fraud and not receiving the right
products after ordering (Heijden et al., 2003).
Perceived risk is known as a factor that affects online purchase intention significantly (Choi et al., 2003;
Zhou et al., 2007). In addition there is a list of studies that have mentioned to risk as an important factor that is
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in a strong relationship with trust (Jarvenpaa et al., 1998; Thompson and Liu, 2007; Meskaran et al., 2010), they
mention to a negative effect of trust on risk and risk on trust. Since risk is a factor that significantly effect on
online purchase intention, trust and security, this study will consider it as factor to be included in the
comprehensive model.
5. Other Factors That Affect Online Purchase Intention:
Besides factor considered in three basic theories (TRA, TPB and TAM), other studies have included the
following variables:
Privacy: it is the willingness of consumers to share information via the Internet that allows purchases to be
decided. There are researches that have addressed privacy as factor that affect online purchase intention
(Belanger et al., 2002; Tariq and Eddaoudi, 2009).
Web features: it is a factor that is defined differently by different researchers. For example, according to
Cheskin and SA, in 1999 web features include factors like ease of navigation, the professionalism of the
Website or user interface quality. Balanger et al., in 2002 is considered web feature as a group including
categories of privacy, security, and pleasure site. This factor is considered as website quality (Ranganthan and
Sanjeev, 2007) or user interface quality (Park and Kim, 2003). There are some studies that are considering this
factor as an effective factor on online purchase intention (Park and Kim, 2003; Belanger et al., 2002).
Past online experience: some of the studies believe that web-shopping consumers behavior will depend on
experience quality in which the experience quality can be obtained only through prior purchase experience, and
prior experiences will strongly affect future behavior. There are some studies that have mentioned to past online
experience as one of the antecedents of online purchase intention (Laroche et al., 2005; Ranganthan and
Sanjeev, 2007; Kwon and Noh, 2010).
Related Models on Online Purchase Intention:
Recent models on online purchase intention have referred to the three basic theories (TRA, TPB and TAM).
Since this study focuses on trust and security, Table.4 consolidates the models with the direct and indirect
factors involve for online purchase intention. The factors that are related to one of the basic theories (TRA, TPB
and TAM) and also security and trust factors are highlighted. TAM was found to be the underpinning theory
used in most online purchase intention studies (Gefen and Straubin, 2005; Heijden et al.2003; Choi et al., 2003;
Delafrooz et al., 201; Wen et al., 2011). Although, trust and security are known as important factor that affect
online purchase intention only Belanger et al., 2002; Tariq and Eddaoudi, 2009 and Delafrooz et al., 2011 are
considering both of trust and security as direct effective factor. Nonetheless, Delafrooz et al., 2011 have
considered trust and security under perceived behavioral control.
Table 4: List of construct considered for the proposed model of online purchase intention.
No
Model
Direct Factors
Indirect factor
1
Model of purchase
Trustworthiness; Privacy;
--intention and willingness to
Security; Pleasure; Web features
give information
Model of Purchase
Ease of use; Usefulness; Social
--2
intentions
presence; Trust
3
Model of Intention to
Risk, Usefulness of website;
Third party assurance seal ;
purchase from website
Perceive ease of use; Subject
Trust
norm
4
Model of Actual purchase
Information quality; User
--behavior
Interface quality; Security
5
Model of online purchase
Attitude
Perceived ease of use;
intention
Perceived usefulness; Trust
in online store; Perceived
risk
6
Model of purchase
Perceived risk; Consumer trust
Online transaction
intention
self-efficacy; Disposition
to Trust
7
Model of willingness to
Age; trust; security; Awareness;
--shop online
Privacy
8
Model of Purchase
Attitude; Perceived behavioral
Online shopping orientation;
intention
control (Trust, Security)
Demographic; Consumer
perceived benefits
9
Model of Intention
Attitude; Normative belief; Self
Usefulness; Ease of use;
efficiency
Compatibility; Privacy;
Security

Reference
Belanger et al., 2002

Gefen and Straubin, f2005


Choi et al., 2003

Park and Kim, 2003


Heijden et al., 2003

Kim and Kim 2005

Tariq and Eddaoudi, 2009


Delafrooz
et al., 2011
Yulihasri et al., 2011

Comprehensive Proposed Model:


Based on existing studies of antecedents of online purchase intention, trust and security a comprehensive
model for online purchase intention is presented. Figure 2 illustrated the proposed model, whereby, all factors
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that affect directly on online purchase intention are presented: Factors such as; attitude, behavioral intention,
security, trust, risk, perceived usefulness, ease of use and subject norm are factor influencing on online purchase
intention. Model of Heijden et al., (2003), Choi et al., (2003) and Delafrooz et al., 2011 model are models that
are used in this comprehensive model.

Fig. 2: The Proposed Comprehensive Model.


Conclusion:
Online shopping is slowly gaining acceptance among Internet users. However, there are still limitations that
cause customers shying away from online purchasing, hence, affect consumer intention to use online
purchasing. This study successfully identified the variables that are important in promoting on-line purchasing.
A comprehensive model was design showing factors that effect on online purchase intention. It is built upon
three main theories (TRA, TPB and TAM) and also antecedents of trust and security. The proposed
comprehensive model will be further tested through a survey in concluding its appropriateness. Perceived of
usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude, security, trust, subject norm and risk are possible factors that may
affect online purchase intention. Similarly, antecedents of trust and security were also be examined.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This study was funded by the Research University Grant from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and
Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia with the project number Q.K 130000.2138.01H98.

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