Cultural effect on electronic consumer behaviour
The ubiquitous nature of e-commerce demands an innovative conceptualization of consumer behaviour that responds to various cultural preferences. Culture has been identified as an underlying determinant of consumer behaviour, and this extends to ecommerce. This research investigates this phenomenon for the Egyptian consumer. This research designed a plausible, integrated framework for investigating the target phenomenon, especially for un-explored cultures. To help to identify salient components of the phenomenon, a three-study exploratory phase, that included: interviews, a survey, and card sorting sessions, was undertaken. The exploratory results highlighted the roles of trust, uncertainty avoidance, Internet store familiarity, and reputation as the main salient factors affecting the perception of the targeted group toward e-commerce. The research hypotheses were then developed based on the exploratory results. Finally, a model testing phase to empirically assess the research hypotheses through a laboratory experiential survey with 370 Egyptian Internet users was undertaken. The experiential survey results support the significant role of the Internet store’s perceived familiarity and reputation as the main antecedents of online trust. The relationship between trust and its two antecedents are found to be culturally sensitive; the high uncertainty avoidance of the consumer is found to be associated with a stronger effect of the store’s reputation on trust, and a stronger effect of store’s familiarity on trust. The research also highlights the significant effect of trust on the attitude towards and the willingness to buy from an e-commerce site. This research, by providing an understanding of the cultural drivers of e-commerce, contributes to building a theory of consumer’s cultural trust within an Internet store context. The research reports on the development of an integrated cultural trust model that highlights recommendations for expanding the adoption of e-commerce. The systematic research framework, introduced by this research, can be a robust starting point for further related work in this area.