Use of the Internet for commerce or E-business is a popular topic of research efforts and mass-media press reports. Just as the Internet has changed the way people communicate and share information, shopping activities have also been dramatically affected. The businesses are moving very fast towards adopting the internet services by creating their internet websites. Online shopping has been touted by some researchers and the press as the replacement for traditional retailers that sell via physical storefronts. The promise of a new, preferred retail commerce channel is juxtaposed to the reality that in the second decade of use, electronic commerce has been able to achieve less than four percent of total retail sales. This paradox between promise and reality has created a fertile ground for investigation into the motivations and concerns of online shoppers and how E-businesses can allay the fears and concerns of consumers.
E-commerce is defined as "business activities conducted using electronic data transmission via the Internet and the World Wide Web" (Windrum, Berranger, 2003, pp.177-201). E-commerce provides many benefits to both buyers and sellers. For instance, Turban, King, Lee, and Viehland (2004) pointed out that with minimal capital expenditure, a company using e-commerce can easily and quickly locate best suppliers, more customers, and the most suitable business partners worldwide. This is especially important for developing countries since by using e-commerce they might be able to reach other markets that otherwise would be very difficult to access. People that are searching for the jobs could also benefit from accessing global markets and having larger product availability from a wider variety of employment opportunities.
In less than two decades Internet has been used as a shopping medium, attitudes, assumptions, and perceptions concerning the viability of online-only storefronts and mixed-channel operations that offer a combination of offline and online capabilities have evolved. Central to the changing landscape of retailing via the Internet is a growing understanding of consumer motivations and concerns, especially online shoppers. Research into the psyche, motivations, and concerns of people who use the Internet for commerce and other purposes is a popular topic of studies by academics and practitioners. How online shoppers select which E-businesses to patronize and why it has resulted in the development of multiple theories, concepts, and models. Numerous studies report consumers are concerned with how they can determine the trustworthiness of online stores that may not have an associated physical storefront, uses an anonymous medium, requires the sharing of personal and sensitive information, and offers interaction many times only with an intangible object, an E-business site.
Despite the general expression, bank branches and retail stores still operate, and would-be entrepreneurs still face many of the same barriers to entry. There are several reasons why online exchanges have not rendered physical locations completely obsolete. First, many economic activities rely on the knowledge embodied in skilled labor, capabilities that are most easily exchanged (and regulated by managers) over minimal physical distances (at least among today's workers) (Quayle 2002, p.1148). Second, Internet adoption ...