Trust and online wine purchasing: insights into UK consumer behaviour

Sarah Quinton (The Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Sally Harridge‐March (The Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Publication date: 21 March 2008



Buyer trust is needed to begin any purchasing relationship whether the exchange is to take place online or offline. In the online environment, instilling trust is critical to the formation of a purchasing relationship owing to the perception of increased risk on the part of the would‐be consumer. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the elements of trust that influence potential consumers differ between on and offline wine purchasing.


An interactive data collection tool was employed, in the form of an internet based questionnaire that focused on what influences a consumer of wine to trust enough to purchase online for the first time. This paper reports the findings based on a permission‐based email sample of more than 1,000 current consumers who professed to buy wine.


The findings demonstrate that there is a difference in the elements of trust that consumers use to determine whether or not to purchase wine online and offline.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that the services marketing mix holds relevance for those online retailers who wish to attract consumers of wine for the first time. The paper concludes with recommendations for marketers on how to influence the initial wine purchase.


This paper's value lies in the comparison between on and offline trust and initial buying behaviour. It provides insight into the initiation of trust and the formation of relationships between customers and providers by identifying the elements that instil trust.



Quinton, S. and Harridge‐March, S. (2008), "Trust and online wine purchasing: insights into UK consumer behaviour", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 68-85.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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