The impact of unsolicited behavioral tracking practices on consumers' shopping evaluations and attitudes toward trusted online retailers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ft848v28q

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  • The purpose of the present study is to examine consumers' privacy concerns in the online shopping context. Drawing from Social Contract Theory, the present study proposed a structure equation model to examine how consumers' evaluations of online shopping experiences (perceived benefit, risk and fairness) and attitudes (trust, moods, and repurchase loyalty) toward trusted online retailers are impacted when exposed to information about unsolicited behavioral tracking (sources of behavioral tracking and level of disseminating the information collected from consumers). Furthermore, the study examined if personal factors such as innovativeness, consumer commitment, and general privacy concern moderate the relationships among unsolicited behavioral tracking, consumers' evaluations of online shopping experiences and attitudes toward trusted online retailers. A total of 532 college students aged 18 and older participated in this study. Four unsolicited behavioral tracking scenarios were developed to provide the information of unsolicited behavioral tracking to participants. A between-subject experiment was conducted in which data were collected using an online survey questionnaire. The results of structural equation model indicate that the level of disseminating consumers' information has a significantly positive relationship with perceived risk (β=.46, p <.001), hence decreasing consumers' perceived fairness. However, contrary to predictions, third-party behavioral tracking does not significantly influence consumers' perceived benefit and perceived risk. Consistent with the findings of the literature, consumers' perceived fairness significantly predicts their attitudes toward trusted online retailer (trust, pleasure, dominance, arousal and repurchase loyalty). The result of multiple-group comparison suggests that consumers' personal traits such as innovativeness and commitment moderate the relationships among the proposed model, while privacy segment does not. The findings of present study suggests there is a discrepancy between online shoppers and their trusted online retailers regarding the information collected from online shoppers since, currently, sharing of information collected from customers within affiliates is a fairly common practice in the marketing field. The findings do suggest that online retailers should be cautious about their information practices since they may lose consumers' trust if consumers perceived it is unfair to them.
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