So far, the term e-commerce has been primarily associated with communicating the brand and/or enabling sales transactions. However, the next vista for companies operating in the virtual marketplace seems to be e-service or, delivering value-added, interactive services to customers. This e-business function has been left virtually unexplored in the services research literature. In this article, an attempt is made to investigate the impact of organizational reputation, relative advantage, and perceived risk on perceived service quality, trust and behavioral intentions of customers towards adopting e-services. In the context of an electronic travel service, hypotheses on the relationships between aforementioned variables are investigated by means of an experimental study. The results suggest that the three factors have a significant main effect on the customers' attitude and behavior towards e-service. The only exception is that relative advantage does not appear to have a significant impact on customer trust. The results also show that organizational reputation and perceived risk have a combined effect: a good organizational reputation impacts the effect of perceived risk on the three dependent variables. Finally, the three factors appeared to be evenly important in the forming of customers' attitude and behavior. Again, the only exception is that organizational reputation and perceived risk appear to be more important in terms of trust than relative advantage.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2001
Keywords: Service; Consumer behaviour