Value congruence, trust, and their effects on purchase intention and reservation price

Joseph Cazier, Benjamin Shao, Robert St Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We study the roles of value congruence and trust in increasing online shoppers' intention to purchase goods and their reservation prices for these goods. Hypotheses are developed and a controlled experiment is conducted to measure subjects' value congruence with and their trust in online sellers with disparate values, along with their purchase intention and willingness to pay price premiums. Using social exchange theory, we find that, for business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, value congruence increases consumer online trust, and both value congruence and online trust have direct effects on purchase intention and reservation prices. In particular, in the positive value congruence vs. value neutral case, trust has a greater effect than value congruence on purchase intention, but value congruence has a greater effect than trust on reservation price. These findings suggest that trust is essential to a consumer's intention to purchase online but value congruence can induce price premiums from potential buyers for online sellers. This implies that trust is essential to B2C e-commerce, but value congruence can be a more effective instrument for online sellers to achieve competitive advantage through value-based differentiation in the virtual marketplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3110939
JournalACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • E-commerce
  • Online market
  • Price premium
  • Purchase intention
  • Reservation price
  • Trust
  • Value congruence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Science(all)


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