A new perspective of e-trust in the era of social media: Insights from customer satisfaction data

Usha Ramanathan, Nigel Leroy Williams, Lilian Borges, Michael Zhang, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

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    In this era of social media, products and services are sold globally using a few simple clicks online. In such online purchases, trust and familiarity are considered two important driving forces of consumer decision making. While online sales advocate high levels of flexibility and choices for consumers, they also hold the online service provider responsible for ensuring the security of the online user’s data. Using a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with data collected from the online service industry, we test the direct effects of ‘social media-induced purchase intention’ on customer satisfaction. We also test the mediating role of e-commerce/online sales (e-advertisement, e-safety and e-information) on customer satisfaction. In addition to social media advertising and information sharing, we find that a new factor – ‘e-safety’ – mediates the relationship between customer purchase intention and customer satisfaction. Our analysis indicates that online e-trust can be established between the customer and the service company when online purchases are made. At the same time, the quality of online information and e-safety of online payments make the service company trustworthy for future purchases. We relate data analysis directly to managerial decision making to avoid any delay in online customer services in the era of social media.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
    Early online date20 May 2020
    Publication statusEarly online - 20 May 2020


    • social media
    • e-safety
    • customer satisfaction
    • online trust
    • SEM


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