Third-party certification as an online point-of-purchase strategy
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The purpose of this study is to assess the possibility of implementing an online point-of-purchase strategy using third-party privacy certification within the timeframe of initial trust. An online experiment was conducted, using a 2 (third-party seal: present vs. absent) x 2 (purchase-decision involvement: low vs. high) x 2 (self-efficacy: low vs. high) between-subjects design. A total of 209 undergraduate students at a major Southeastern university participated in the experiment. The results provided evidence of trust transference from a well-known third-party seal to an unfamiliar retailer website, indicating that seal presence was shwon to raise initial trust in the website and that the effects of seal presence were mediated by perceived privacy empowerment. It was also revealed that the seal effects were moderated by the levels of one's purchase-decision involvement, disposition to trust, and self-efficacy. Theoretical explanations and managerial implications are further discussed.