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How risk-aversion level of return policies impact consumer trust in online shopping? An intercultural study in the Middle East

Kazem Askarifar (Department of Management, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran)
Yalda Dehbozorgi (Department of Management, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran)
Ali Alsafi (Department of Public Administration, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relationship between the risk-aversion level of return policies and customer trust in online shopping in three countries in the Middle East.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first step, the different types of return policies of online shoppers and the risk-aversion level were determined by surveying 18 online shops and interviewing 21 customers. The risk-aversion level of these policies was found in the experts’ panel. In the second step, the experiences of 573 consumers when facing seller’s return messages, perceived risk and consumer trust in three countries (UAE, Iraq and Iran) were collected through a questionnaire. Finally, the gathered data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results indicated that risk-averse return policies taken by online vendors led to lower consumer trust. Moreover, customer perceived risk mediated the relationship between return policies’ risk-aversion level and trust in Iraq and Iran. At the same time, there was no significant association between return policies and perceived risk in UAE. In addition, perceived risk wholly mediated the relationship between return policies’ risk aversion and trust in vendors in Iran, but this role was minor in Iraq.

Originality/value

Among the intercultural studies, especially in the Middle East, this is one of the first studies based on the marketing and sales management in an online shopper’s supply chain. Moreover, the investigation of return policies in online commerce is another innovative aspect of the present paper.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the Shiraz University for supporting this research.

Funding statement: This study has no funding.

Data availability: No data was used for the research described in the article.

Credit authorship contribution statement.

Declaration of competing interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Citation

Askarifar, K., Dehbozorgi, Y. and Alsafi, A. (2022), "How risk-aversion level of return policies impact consumer trust in online shopping? An intercultural study in the Middle East", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-07-2022-0193

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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