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Country-of-origin and online retailing ethics: the mediating role of trust and satisfaction on purchase intention

Saptarshi Bhattacharya (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade - Kolkata Campus, Kolkata, India)
Rajendra Prasad Sharma (Marketing Area, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India)
Ashish Gupta (Marketing Area, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, India)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 5 December 2022




Online shoppers feel insecure due to the various unethical practices of e-tailers. It is, therefore, crucial for online retailers to alleviate customer concerns. Extant literature indicates that country-of-origin (COO) cues influence consumer perception. A relatively underexplored phenomenon in an emerging market context, the COO image of the online retailer, i.e. a foreign-origin online retailer (FOOR) or an Indian-origin online retailer (IOOR), needs validation. The current study investigates customer expectations of online retailers' ethical behaviour against the backdrop of online retailer-based signals in emerging markets.


The researchers floated an online questionnaire using a seven-point Likert scale. The authors sought recipient responses in Google Forms shared via e-mails and social media connections. The authors analysed 1,018 useable responses using partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) in Smart PLS 3.


The empirical study examined the influence of the consumer perception of ethics of online retailers (CPEOR) and COO on consumer purchase intention. It validated the proposed research model. The research findings inform that the CPEOR and the COO influence purchase intention through the mediation effects of trust and satisfaction. Results indicate that privacy, security, non-deception, fulfilment, customer service, FOOR and IOOR strongly predict consumer trust. In contrast, privacy, non-deception, fulfilment, customer service and FOOR strongly predict consumer satisfaction. However, security and IOOR did not influence consumer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The study results have theoretical and practical implications for academic researchers and online retailing managers. Future studies can validate the model in different geo-demographic scenarios and e-commerce settings.


The study enriches the extant literature on CPEOR in the Indian context. This study is pioneering work examining consumer purchase intention by adding the COO construct to the CPEOR model.



The authors want to thank the Editor, Senior Editor and Anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback on this manuscript.


Bhattacharya, S., Sharma, R.P. and Gupta, A. (2022), "Country-of-origin and online retailing ethics: the mediating role of trust and satisfaction on purchase intention", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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