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A trust-risk perspective on social commerce use: an examination of the biasing role of habit

Samira Farivar (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)
Ofir Turel (Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA)
Yufei Yuan (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




Social commerce websites have emerged as new platforms which integrate social media features with traditional commerce aspects to enhance users’ purchasing experience. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of social factors such as trust toward site members in determining users’ trust and risk evaluations, and the role of social commerce use habit in attenuating users’ rational risk and trust considerations for developing purchase intentions.


Relying on the risk deterrence perspective and rational decision-making models involving trust and habit, this study proposes a set of hypotheses which are tested through analyzing survey data using structural equation modeling techniques.


Results show that commerce risk deters purchasing intentions; trust toward the social commerce website increases users’ purchasing intentions; and trust toward the site members indirectly increases purchasing intentions. Moreover, trust toward site members reduces perceived commerce risk. Findings also show that habit modulates trust and risk effects on use decisions in this context; habit moderates (weakens) the relationships between commerce risk and purchase intentions and between trust toward the social commerce site and purchase intentions.


This study extends theories on decision making in social settings such as in the case of social commerce. It does so by accounting for unique modulating effects of habit in social settings in which social aspects such as trust in other members and risk are unique and important.



Farivar, S., Turel, O. and Yuan, Y. (2017), "A trust-risk perspective on social commerce use: an examination of the biasing role of habit", Internet Research, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 586-607.



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