Culture, privacy, and trust in e-commerce

Peter Broeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The aim of the study is to investigate trust and privacy in a web store. Two hundred and thirty-seven persons (from the Netherlands and from Romania) participated in an experimental survey. They were presented with two variations of a wardrobe offer in a fictional web store. In one web store condition, the privacy notice was absent. In the other web store condition, the privacy notice was present. The findings show that including a privacy policy notice did not directly influence consumers’ purchase intention. Meanwhile, there was an indirect effect of the privacy policy notice, via trust, on purchase intention. In addition, there was supporting evidence that privacy concerns remain dormant until triggered by the privacy notice. Differences between men and women, as well as between different uncertainty avoidant cultures, were not found. In contrast, regarding age, young consumers (in particular, the Romanian ones) were less affected by the privacy notice than older consumers (for trust and purchase intentions). This study provides an original contribution to global e-commerce. Cultural groups are categorised through self-identification. In combination with differences in uncertainty avoidance, this categorisation provides better insight into the consumer dynamics in societies. The findings emphasise the need for fine-tuning web store atmospherics. An optimal and effective shopping environment can be trusted and guarantees privacy. This outcome implies that a privacy policy notice in a web store is perceived as a privacy guarantee, not as a privacy warning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalMarketing from Information to Decision Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • E-commerce
  • Online privacy
  • Trust
  • Consumer behavior
  • Culture
  • Uncertainty avoidance


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