The emergence of the World Wide Web initiated a new era of online consumerism. Though the Internet allows customers to order products conveniently and immediately, and to access information to make informed purchase decisions, it can also be an unknown realm for many. As the
(2009) reports in the United States, the 2007 total online retail sales and the total number of transactions for the top 500 websites rose by 21.8% and 8.8% respectively. Therefore, customers have readily adopted the Internet for various purposes, and properly used, it is a powerful tool for selling products and services. The most commonly used methods for conducting commerce on the Internet involves selling goods and services through a company’s website. However, developing a website is not without risk and businesses today face numerous challenges in their efforts to develop a website that is both functional and productive for both consumer and firm. Since customers often view this form of shopping as risky, they often rely on the information available from a firm’s website to determine the quality and performance of the product and thus if they are interested in purchasing from that website. Through such information gathering, firms are able to lower their customer’s perceived risk and simultaneously encourage them to make the purchase.