Involvement and the influence of online third-party endorsements

Russell Williams, Anthony Grimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Obtaining consumers' trust is widely acknowledged as a key element in establishing and developing successful relationships. Recognising this, an emerging body of work has investigated the sources of consumers' trusting beliefs about online vendors. One apparent source of trust available for vendors is the use of trust marks – a type of third part endorsement. The existing empirical evidence on their use is, however, at best mixed in spite of the strong theoretical case. One possible reason for these mixed results is that, while existing research considers trust marks as pieces of information, it fails to acknowledge how pieces of information are processed in consumer decision making. Following the cognitive processing theory, this paper sets out a case on how consumers process information (e.g., trust marks) according to the level of consumer involvement. On the basis of this conceptual work, propositions and hypotheses are proposed for future research. Specifically, the paper proposes that trust marks will have their desired (maximum) effect in establishing trust when they act as primary central cues in situations of high involvement. Moreover, they must be both familiar and recognised, operating in the absence of other central cues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • third-party endorsements
  • trust marks
  • online trust
  • third-parties
  • online vendors
  • decision making
  • consumer behaviour
  • cognitive processing theory
  • information processing
  • consumer involvement
  • high involvement situations
  • central cues
  • internet marketing
  • advertising
  • world wide web


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