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E-commerce, Online Identity, Website Quality, Trust, Feedback/Reviews, Reputation Mechanisms

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Electronic commerce research has shown that a very wide variety of factors such as website quality and vendor reputation influence consumer behaviors and outcomes. These behaviors and outcomes include: trust, intention to transact, and return visits. However, these factors are typically studied in isolation and often show conflicting results. This paper proposes a unifying model of online identity (or e-image) that combines the various factors that influence user perceptions of an e-business. Survey results support the importance of a wide variety of e-image factors when forming impressions online and show that while information content is the foremost concern for most users, the importance of other factors varies depending on the role of the user in establishing a relationship with the owner of the online identity.


This article was written before Steven Walczak was affiliated with the University of South Florida.

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Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, v. 4, no. 3, p. 17-29.