Feeling Close from Afar: The Role of Psychological Distance in Offsetting Distrust in Unfamiliar Online Retailers
School of Economics and Business Administration
Journal of Retailing
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.
Construal Level Theory, Psychological distance, Online trust, Multichannel retailing, Internet retailing
Business | Economics | Marketing
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
Darke, Peter R.; Brady, Michael K.; Benedicktus, Ray L.; and Wilson, Andrew. Feeling Close from Afar: The Role of Psychological Distance in Offsetting Distrust in Unfamiliar Online Retailers (2016). Journal of Retailing. 92 (3), 287-299. 10.1016/j.jretai.2016.02.001 [article]. https://digitalcommons.stmarys-ca.edu/school-economics-business-faculty-works/36