Title

Feeling Close from Afar: The Role of Psychological Distance in Offsetting Distrust in Unfamiliar Online Retailers

Status

Faculty

School

School of Economics and Business Administration

Department

Marketing

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2016

Publication Title

Journal of Retailing

Description/Abstract

E-commerce offers retailers the opportunity to attract new customers online; however, consumer distrust toward unfamiliar retailers can seriously impede these efforts. Construal Level Theory suggests that such distrust can be partially understood in terms of psychological distance, and that reducing psychological distance using simple website tactics should overcome distrust and encourage first-time purchases. Studies 1 and 2 show a physically distant retail store, or lack of a physical store altogether, contribute to psychological distance, distrust, and reluctance to purchase online. Studies 2 and 3 further show that website images of an office building (increased tangibility), or the owner's name and appearance (social proximity), can improve trust and purchase intentions by specifically reducing the psychological distance otherwise associated with purely virtual or physically distant retailers.

Keywords

Construal Level Theory, Psychological distance, Online trust, Multichannel retailing, Internet retailing

Volume

92

Issue

3

First Page

287

Last Page

299

Scholarly

yes

DOI

10.1016/j.jretai.2016.02.001

Disciplines

Business | Economics | Marketing

Comments

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2016.02.001

Original Citation

Darke, P.R., Brady, M.K., Benedicktus, R., & Wilson, A.E. “Feeling close from afar: The role of psychological distance in offsetting distrust in unfamiliar online retailers.” Journal of Retailing 92 (3) 287-299. 2016. DOI:10.1016/j.jretai.2016.02.001

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