Gomaa Agag


Internet is fundamentally transforming the nature of the relationship that businesses have with consumers and the public. While e-commerce has witnessed extensive growth in recent years, consumers concerns regarding ethical issues surrounding online shopping also continue to increase. With increasing acceptance of the internet as a source for retail, ethical issues concerning internet usage have prompted serious concerns to consumers and created new challenges for practitioners. These growing concerns about safety and ethical behavior in online retailing can harm and restrain internet retail growth and deter consumers from online activities. Marketers must understand how these ethical challenges relate to dissatisfaction and distrust in the online retailing environment to foster further growth. The vast majority of earlier research on this area is conceptual in nature and limited in scope by focusing on consumers’ privacy issues. In an online context, this study proposes and tests a conceptual model that will discover the relationships between ethical factors associated to online providers’ web sites (e.g. security, privacy, non-deception, fulfilment, service recovery, shared value, and communication) and customer satisfaction to online providers’ web sites. It also explores a mediating role of trust and commitment on the link between ethical factors and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the current study examines the differences between e-commerce ethics between the UK and Egypt in the context of B2C and B2B e-commerce. The conceptual model is then tested with a total of 980 completed questionnaires collected from two sample countries; namely, Egypt and the UK. These were analysed through a multivariate analysis using a variance-based statistical technique known as Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling. The findings of this study show significant support for the proposed model. As predicted, BPSE is a second-order construct composed of seven dimensions (i.e., security, privacy, fulfilment, non-deception, service recovery, communication, and shared value). Trust and commitment mediate the relationship between BPSE and satisfaction. In addition, II reliability/fulfilment and non-deception are the most effective dimensions in BPSE. Byer’s perceptions regarding sellers’ ethics (BPSE) has a significant influence on consumer satisfaction. No major differences between the two country models were found. These findings have both theoretical and practical implications in that the results have provided empirical evidence on the indirect impact of BPSE on customer satisfaction and can serve as an indication in practice for both online service providers managers and policy makers in understanding consumers’ perceptions about e-commerce ethics and its effects on customer satisfaction.

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