Gender Differences in the Perceived Risk of Buying Online and the Effects of Receiving a Site Recommendation
8 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010
Date Written: 2004
This article examines how men and women differ in both their perceptions of the risks associated with shopping online and the effect of receiving a site recommendation from a friend. The first study examines how gender affects the perceptions of the probability of negative outcomes and the severity of such negative outcomes should they occur for five risks associated with buying online (i.e., credit card misuse, fraudulent sites, loss of privacy, shipping problems, and product failure). The second study examines gender differences in the effect of receiving a recommendation from a friend on perceptions of online purchase risk. The third study experimentally tests whether, compared to men, women will be more likely to increase their willingness to purchase online if they receive a site recommendation from a friend. The results suggest that, even when controlling for differences in Internet usage, women perceive a higher level of risk in online purchasing than do men. In addition, having a site recommended by a friend leads to both a greater reduction in perceived risk and a stronger increase in willingness to buy online among women than among men.
Keywords: Gender; Risk perceptions; Risk reduction; Internet retailing; Internet risk; Word of mouth
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37, M39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation