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Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

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Computers in Human Behavior


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/comphumbeh

Full length article

The antecedents of purchase and re-purchase intentions of online


auction consumers
Jengchung V. Chen a, David C. Yen b, *, Wan-Ru Kuo c, Erik Paolo S. Capistrano a, d
a

Institute of International Management, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, 701 Tainan, Taiwan
School of Economics and Business, 226 Netzer Administration Bldg., SUNY College at Oneonta, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA
c
Top Union Electronics Corp., No. 480 Nioupu E. Rd., Hsinchu, Taiwan
d
Virata School of Business, University of The Philippines, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
b

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 22 January 2015
Received in revised form
8 July 2015
Accepted 23 July 2015
Available online 24 August 2015

This research explores some factors affecting purchase and repurchase intentions towards online auctions. An experiment, in the context of PChome & eBay and Yahoo Auction online auctions websites, was
conducted to simulate an environment manipulating branding, seller evaluation, volume of information,
and price ranges to inuence purchase intentions, reecting some aspects of utilitarian and hedonic
approaches towards purchase and repurchase intentions. Furthermore, mediation strategies, trust, and
media richness were also introduced in the study to examine their inuence on repurchase intentions.
120 participants validated the experimental design, where all variables inuencing purchase intentions
were found to be signicant in varying degrees, and where mediator strategies and trust were found to
signicantly inuence repurchase intentions. These results reinforce notions that online auctions are
complex processes, especially to induce purchase and repurchase intentions, and that both buyers and
sellers have complex utilitarian and hedonic approaches to develop purchase and repurchase intentions.
Further theoretical and managerial implications are detailed in this research.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Online auctions
Purchase intentions
Repurchase intentions
Mediation strategy
Trust
Media richness
Information exchange
Price setting

1. Introduction
E-commerce and Internet shopping is continuously enjoying
high and rapid growth and development (Chen, 2012; Shiau & Luo,
2012; Zhou, 2012). The continuous growth of online shopping, the
recent developments in B2C and C2C platforms, and the improved
interactions between different online entities all contribute to the
continuous growth of online auction markets (Dimoka, Hong, &
Pavlou, 2012; Muthitacharoen, Claycomb, & Pelkowski, 2011;
Shiau & Luo, 2012; Xu, Lin, & Shao, 2010). These ongoing development, coupled with the rapid competition from other e-commerce platforms (Hsu, Chang, Chu, & Lee, 2014; Shiau & Luo, 2012),
encourages constant reexamination and revisiting of online auction
design and its effect on consumer behavior. Online auction websites
provide a fast and efcient trading platform for different people to

* Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: victor@mail.ncku.edu.tw (J.V. Chen), David.Yen@oneonta.edu
(D.C. Yen), bronte_kuo@topunion.com.tw (W.-R. Kuo), RA8997054@mail.ncku.edu.
tw, escapistrano@up.edu.ph (E.P.S. Capistrano).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.048
0747-5632/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

inuence supply and demand and to utilize a dynamic pricing


model for negotiations (Chiu, Fang, Cheng, & Yen, 2013; Liang &
Chen, 2012; Zhou, 2012). But since many online auction websites
only provide some generic and basic product descriptions, consumers have to do other tasks such as evaluating the specic
product or checking the reputation and creditability of the online
auction sites (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Chiu, Wang, Fang, & Huang,
2014; Gregg & Walzack, 2008; Shin, Chung, Oh, & Lee, 2013) to
compensate for this perceived information asymmetry.
As a complement to the technical aspects of online auction sites,
enhancing service quality is also a conscious effort to inuence
consumer's loyalty (Finch, 2007; Kim, Galliers, Shin, Ryoo, & Kim,
2012). Moreover, the level of trust towards online auctions is also
posited to affect consumer loyalty, considering their levels of
satisfaction (Chiu et al., 2013; Chiu, Hsu, Lai, & Chang, 2012; Hsu
et al., 2014). To test the relationships of all these aforementioned
factors, this research investigates the operations of Pchome & eBay
and Yahoo! Auction, two of the biggest auction websites in the
market. This research measures how some factors such as seller
evaluations, volume of information, and price ranges inuence

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

purchase intentions, and extending it to repurchase intentions.


Repurchase intention is an additional but very crucial variable since
repeat purchases is a reliable indicator of customer loyalty, and is a
very critical resource for online rms to survive, continue its operations, grow its market, and sustain its online presence (Chen,
2012; Hsu et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2012; Shin et al., 2013). Henceforth, it is not just about what are the aspects of Internet shopping
that makes users purchase an item, but the more important question now is to how to encourage online shoppers to make repeat
purchases (Chen, 2012; Chiu et al., 2012; Hsu et al., 2014; Kim et al.,
2012; Zhang et al., 2011). In other words, this research proposes
that a combination of the technical aspects provided by the online
auction website itself and the actions of the online sellers will both
inuence purchase and repurchase intentions of their online
customers.
The rest of this paper is structured as follows: Section 2 covers
the literature review, where this study's theoretical framework is
developed for the experimental design. Section 3 discusses the
research methodology while Section 4 presents the experimental
analysis and results. Finally, the last section presents the research
conclusions, implications, and directions for future research.
2. Literature review
2.1. Attitude formations in online transactions
It is obvious that there are many different ways in which customers form attitudes whenever they go online, and moreso when
they make purchases, and later on repeat purchases. This issue is
anchored on what are the processes, functions, and motivations for
individuals to continuously patronize Internet shopping and ecommerce in general (Chen, 2012). This is because purchase and
repurchase intentions is a predominantly subjective behavior (Wu,
Chen, Chen, & Cheng, 2014), mostly determined by how consumers
experience and learn from their interactions with others and with
the online environment (Chen, 2012; Hsu et al., 2014). A number of
previous studies have approached this issue considering both the
utilitarian and hedonic aspects of online transactions. This is an
important theoretical lens since human motives, even in online
shopping, are still driven by both utilitarian and hedonic needs, and
are still geared primarily towards gratication and satisfaction
(Chiu et al., 2014). Utilitarian aspects of online shopping include
issues on the acquisition of products in an effective (Chiu et al.,
2012) and convenient (Chiu et al., 2014) manner, examining
rational and task-specic functions based on website quality dimensions (Kim et al., 2012), and considering the costs of purchasing
the product in question (Chiu et al., 2014; Wu et al., 2014; Zhou,
2012).
2.2. Effects of brand awareness
Aside from price, external cues such as brands and branding also
affect customers' perceived quality (Agarwal & Teas, 2001; Monroe
& Krishnan, 1985). This implies that brand popularity plays an
important role in online shopping in mitigating the effects of
product risk (Agarwal & Teas, 2001). Generally, consumers have
more condence in the quality of a well-known brand, hereby
giving it better product evaluations (Grewal, Monroe, & Krishnan,
1998), higher perceived value, and therefore improved purchase
intentions (Dodds, Monroe, & Grewal, 1991). Consumers generally
have higher brand attitudes and purchase intentions to brands they
are familiar with (Kamins & Marks, 1991), implying that the more
famous the brand is, the higher the possibility of purchase (Hoyer &
Brown, 1990). In effect, this also encourages a commitment cost to
sustain the relationship with another party (Morgan & Hunt, 1994),

187

which can be observed between established brands and their loyal


customers. As an alternative information source, brands, and the
subsequent reputations built by these brands, can build more online condence and predict product quality (Hsu et al., 2014; Shiau
& Luo, 2012; Yoo & Kim, 2014).
Furthermore, brand awareness brings about familiarity, another
important component in developing purchase and repurchase intentions. Aside from the notions of trust and satisfaction, familiarity
and reputation are interesting factors since in a number of cases,
these two confound how trust inuences purchase and repurchase
intentions (Chiu et al., 2013; Chiu et al., 2012; Hsu et al., 2014; Shiau
& Luo, 2012). Therefore, as far as brands go, whatever images and
messages that a brand already entails even before product and
seller evaluation commences may already be an interesting factor
to consider.
Before users make an online purchase, they evaluate alternative
products from different websites, especially to mitigate uncertainties and risks (Chiu et al., 2014; Dimoka et al., 2012; Wu
et al., 2014). Branding projects a strong image (Agarwal & Teas,
2001; Monroe & Krishnan, 1985) cultivate familiarity (Chiu et al.,
2013; Yoo & Kim, 2014), and project reputations (Hsu et al., 2014;
Shiau & Luo, 2012), all of which inuence attitudes and perceptions towards purchase intentions. Therefore, generally speaking,
the higher the brand awareness and recognition are, the higher the
purchase intention will be.
H1. Better branding exerts a more signicant inuence on online
auction customers' purchase intentions.
Furthermore, the more positive the evaluation, the better the
chances of eliciting more favorable responses, in this case better
purchase intentions (Finch, 2007; Yen & Lu, 2008). This is a
reection of how perceptions of service quality as part of the seller's
attributes help build a favorable reputation (Xu et al., 2010), and
therefore induce better purchase intentions as well (Chiu et al.,
2014). In this case, the level of evaluation of sellers affects reputations, and in turn inuences transaction outcomes.
H2. Better buyers' evaluation exerts more signicant inuence on
online auction customers' purchase intentions.
2.3. Price information
Because consumers operate in an information asymmetry
environment (Liang & Chen, 2012) dominated by commitment
costs and perceived risk considerations, they will take extensive
measures to evaluate the risks and benets of purchasing products
or services (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Chiu et al., 2014; Gregg &
Walzack, 2008; Muthitacharoen et al., 2011; Reynolds, Gilkeson,
& Niedrich, 2009; Wu et al., 2014; Xu et al., 2010). This adopts a
utilitarian approach which produces an interaction process
affecting perceived benets in an online auction, which starts with
a reference price, which in turn affects sellers' promotions strategy
(Daniel, Suzanne, & Roger, 2007; Liang & Chen, 2012; Zhou, 2012)
and consumers' purchase behaviors (Dimoka et al., 2012;
McKechnie, Devlin, Ennew, & Smith, 2007; Muthitacharoen et al.,
2011; Zhou, 2012). Reference price is dened as any other related
price to evaluate some price standard (Biswas & Blair, 1991), which
can be divided into external and internal reference price (Urbany,
Bearden, & Weilbaker, 1988). Obviously, the higher the perceived
quality, the higher the purchase price (Becker, 2009; Reynolds et al.,
2009). This compels companies to exaggerate the reference price to
inuence purchase intentions (Blair & Landon, 1981), as well as
intensifying promotional activities (Chang & Albert, 1994). However, these relationships can also work the other way, where price
perceptions and perceived value inuences purchase intentions
(Liang & Chen, 2012; McKechnie et al., 2007; Muthitacharoen et al.,

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2011; Reynolds et al., 2009; Zhou, 2012). Price promotions may


reinforce consumers' satisfaction and cause consumers to change
their evaluation of a product (Zhou, 2012), aside from its usual
function of attracting potential customers.
During the shopping procedure, when price becomes the only
factor, sellers use a variety of ways to stimulate or manipulate
buyers' purchase behavior (Liang & Chen, 2012). Lower prices and
discounts are very attractive for buyers. However, these strategies
may cause negative effects on buyers' perceptions and perceived
quality, thus lower the possibilities of future purchase (Raghubir &
Corfman, 1999). This implies that sellers have a limit on how much
they can manipulate the actual purchase price relative to the base
price. Therefore, unlike branding and reputation building, pricing is
more difcult to manage, given these certain complexities.
H3. A bigger difference between direct purchase price and base
price exerts more signicant inuence on online auction customers' purchase intentions.
Without the information on the base price, one may end up
getting the high end price (Kamins, Dreze, & Folkes, 2004), and
therefore not the best deal out of the auction. The way the price
changes relative to the base price now depends on the risk proles
of both the sellers and the buyers. Risk-averse sellers will set lower
prices (Mathews, 2004). In another perspective, sellers can set a
direct purchase price for risk neutral buyers (Myerson, 1981). When
consumers are purchasing something, their memory will affect the
internal reference price (Monroe & Krishnan, 1985), which is
inuenced by advertising price cues (Della Bitta, Monroe, &
McGinnis, 1981). In the end, these references prices can heavily
inuence evaluations and estimations of the item's perceived value,
and henceforth decisions to make a purchase (Liang & Chen, 2012;
Zhou, 2012). This phenomenon further reects the complexities
inherent in pricing considerations.
H4. A bigger difference between direct purchase price and base
price exerts more signicant inuence on online auction customers' internal reference price.
Additionally, consumers deciding on a product or service purchase usually consider issues on quality and perceived value (Chang
& Albert, 1994; Gregg & Walzack, 2008). As previously mentioned,
given the complex dynamics of transaction costs economics where
people consider all sorts of costs associated with making a purchase
and how does this affect perceptions of quality (Wu et al., 2014;
Zhou, 2012), these two issues are inuenced by comparing actual
price and identied price to measure the amount paid and benets
obtained (Liang & Chen, 2012; Muthitacharoen et al., 2011).
H5. A bigger difference between direct purchase price and base
price exerts more signicant inuence on online auction customers' perceived quality.
Additionally, using reference prices inuences the effectiveness
product's marketing strategies (Daniel et al., 2007; Liang & Chen,
2012; Zhou, 2012), making price still a signicant factor. As previously mentioned, these reference prices are often used spontaneously by buyers to make their evaluations and decisions (Zhou,
2012). Consumers still ultimately compare the previous price
with the end price to make a decision of whether or not to make a
purchase.
H6. Higher internal reference price exerts more signicant inuence on online auction customers' purchase intention.
2.4. Commitment cost and perceived risk
Transactions cost economics can always come into play whenever online shopping is discussed because consumers consider all

sorts of costs in the purchase and repurchase process (Wu et al.,


2014). Additionally, economic theory is argued as an effective
theoretical lens to explain how pricing strategies can be an effective
means to catch consumers' attention (Liang & Chen, 2012).
Commitment cost model (Zhao & Kling, 2004), a prominent economic model involving consumer behavior, posits that the
maximum amount consumers are willing to pay is relatively low
because they expect to have alternative products in the future.
Because of the costs associated with information searching, moral
hazards, specic asset investments (Wu et al., 2014; Zhou, 2012),
and product information comparisons (Liang & Chen, 2012), buyers
will only choose a product with a price low enough to compensate
the decision of purchasing now and give up expected benets from
future information obtained. Additionally, commitment cost is
considered as an emotional or a mental attachment to the service
providers or brands (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) or as an attitude of
refusing change (Pritchard, Havitz, & Howard, 1999). The relative
strength of these attitudes is based on three dimensions: value
commitment, intention commitment, and retention commitment
(Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982). In other words, commitment cost
is a set of conditions that make buyers decide to purchase immediately and forego the possible benets of searching for more information, and possibly purchasing a better product. Additionally,
aside from price-related considerations, the presence of a facilitator
can be employed to meet client needs from the auction platform
(Yen & Lu, 2008), and manage such commitment costs, such as
simplifying transmitted messages and fullling functional applications. This is an additional relevant factor since online auctions
ideally offer low search costs, aggregated purchasing platforms, and
intrinsic allocation efciency, especially if there are such facilitators
present (Zhou, 2012).
This is an important consideration since in a dynamic environment, consumers might delay the purchase until they get more
information about the product (Gregg & Walzack, 2008;
Muthitacharoen et al., 2011). On the other hand, consumers can
also accept the current price, foregoing getting more information
later and hence, purchase immediately (Dimoka et al., 2012; Xu
et al., 2010). This is because consumers usually consult reference
prices, which is the price information that they use to spontaneously make evaluations and estimates regarding the value of the
item in question and decisions regarding actual purchases and
repurchases (Zhou, 2012). In this case, it is truly up to the buyers to
decide whether they will choose when to purchase.
However, managing commitment costs do entail risks, both on
the seller and buyer side of the auction. One important consideration of perceived risk is to understand how consumers make
choices (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Liang & Chen, 2012; Xu et al.,
2010), especially aside from using price references (Zhou, 2012)
and cost considerations (Wu et al., 2014). When consumers make a
purchase, they risk experiencing some negative, unexpected results
(Finch, 2007; Lim, 2003; Wu et al., 2014; Xu et al., 2010), such as
some form of post-purchase dissonance or failing to get enjoy the
benets exactly as promised, leading to dissatisfaction. This risk
will keep consumers from choosing certain brands or services for
fear of making a wrong decision.
Furthermore, perceived risk deters customers from spending
time on online shopping (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Doolin, Dillon,
Thompson, & Corner, 2005; Gregg & Walzack, 2008). To mitigate
perceived risks, sellers provide more information, hereby lowering
perceived risks and increasing perceived value (Chiu et al., 2014;
Finch, 2007; Kim & Lennon, 2000; Xu et al., 2010; Zhou, 2012).
Therefore, perceived risk has a signicant effect on consumers'
purchase intention. That being said, it is a common practice among
sellers to provide as much product and price information (Wu et al.,
2014; Zhou, 2012), especially since consumers perceive less and

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

less real differences across many sellers, making customer loyalty


harder to develop and maintain (Shin et al., 2013).
The volume of information provided by the sellers has several
implications on how buyers ultimately make perceptions and decisions regarding the item to be purchased (Chiu et al., 2014; Kim
et al., 2012; Wu et al., 2014; Zhou, 2012), making this an interesting proposition. Buyers' commitment cost will be less when
sellers provide more product information (Zhou, Dresner, &
Windle, 2008). This implies that when buyers expect that they
can get more information or learning opportunities in the future,
their commitment cost will be low in the rst place.
H7. Higher commitment cost exerts more signicant inuence on
online auction customers' purchase.
2.5. Evaluation of online sellers
The mechanisms for the safety of online transactions, personal
preference habits, and competitors' strategic patterns are some of
the possible factors inuencing online sellers' performance. Aside
from these mechanisms, the sellers' reputation is one of the biggest
considerations for buyers (Chiu et al., 2014; Finch, 2007; Xu et al.,
2010), implying that trust does have a signicant effect on customers' purchase intentions (Chiu et al., 2013; Chiu et al., 2012;
Dimoka et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2011). This brings about the
notion of relationship marketing, raising the question as to how can
sellers manage the quality of their relationships that they have with
their buyers, especially to maximize repurchase intentions (Chiu
et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2011). In relationship marketing, trust
implies acknowledging the credibility and goodwill of the other
party, considering professional competence, favor levels, and similarity with consumers (Son, Tu, & Benbasat, 2006; Zhang et al.,
2011). Furthermore, when consumers browse products, they will
be concerned if the company can provide those products with good
quality (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Chiu et al., 2014; Finch, 2007;
Gregg & Walzack, 2008), as promised in their product promotions.
Trust will induce higher commitment (Morgan & Hunt, 1994),
which in turn is an important indicator for loyalty and repurchase
intentions (Zhang et al., 2011). This implies that when consumers
have trust and condence in a website, it will help them have a
continuous favorable purchase behavior (Chiu et al., 2013; Hsu
et al., 2014; Shiau & Luo, 2012; Son et al., 2006; Zhang et al.,
2011). But what drives trust is the perceptions of quality the
seller delivers (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008; Chiu et al., 2014; Finch,
2007; Gregg & Walzack, 2008). Furthermore, perceptions of quality are derived from product evaluations based on the sellers'
strategies (Becker, 2009), which will also inuence perceptions of
satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately, it is in the delivery of that
perceived quality that will inuence buyers' thinking process on
their price referencing.

189

able to acquire the item in question in the most efcient manner is


a priority as well (Chiu et al., 2014), as this reects perceptions of
expertise and reputation (Zhang et al., 2011). The information
provided by these systems and mechanisms gives buyers a basis to
form their perceptions regarding seller reputations and service
quality, both of which inuence purchase and repurchase intentions. This also explains why repeat customers play such an
important role in Internet shopping in general. Not only do they
provide a steady stream of revenue, but they are also better
equipped and more credible at comprehending and evaluating the
information and attributes of an online seller (Chiu et al., 2014; Kim
et al., 2012; Shin et al., 2013).
Enhancing the effectiveness and efciency of making a purchase, and later on acquiring the item in question, also inuences
purchase and repurchase intentions (Chiu et al., 2012). A seller has
several means at his or her disposal to ensure an effective and
efcient way of conducting business with a buyer, and therefore
develop favorable perceptions that would encourage future
repurchase intentions. This includes several methods to be creative
in advertising products, offering promotions, and facilitating negotiations (Shiau & Luo, 2012).
Encouraging customers to make repeat purchases through
various means, including enhancing the system, information, and
service components of the online auction (Chiu et al., 2014; Hsu
et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2012), also makes for an interesting proposition. This includes how the auction website offers and executes its
customer service. Pressures can also affect how negotiators
perform (Pruitt & Carnevale, 1993). Under time pressure, mediators
tend to use pressing strategies to those negotiators who distrust
each other, pushing for more immediate compromises rather than
taking the time to make more careful evaluations (Ross & Weiland,
1996).
H9a. More favorable online mediation strategies exert more signicant inuence on online auction customers' level of
compromise.
Another important consideration is the structure of the platform
facilitating the online auction. This includes some pertinent characteristics of the website that has direct and indirect inuences to
buyer and seller behaviors (Hsu et al., 2014; Yoo & Kim, 2014). One
example of a website characteristic is media richness, which can
provide a complete and useful information exchange (Pollach,
2008) to better facilitate online auction interactions, using an efcient combination of visual and textual uencies (Yoo & Kim, 2014).
Higher media richness will make the messages easier to understand (Draft, Lengel, & Trevino, 1987) and thus, improve trustworthiness. This will help negotiators address their trust concerns
and better build cooperation, hereby achieving higher levels of
compromise (Carnevale, Putnam, Conlon, & O'Connor, 1991).

H8. Higher perceived quality exerts more signicant inuence on


online auction customers' internal reference price.

H9b. Better media richness exerts more signicant inuence on


online auction customers' level of compromise.

2.6. The coordinator mechanism

Pertaining to trust, the literature has been quite extensive in


agreeing that trust plays a very important role in cultivating
customer loyalty, and therefore improving repurchase intentions.
Trust is a key factor to capture (Chiu et al., 2013; Hsu et al., 2014;
Shiau & Luo, 2012) and maintain the continuity (Zhang et al.,
2011) of buyereseller relationships, especially given the limitations of the richness of interactions due to spatial and temporal
considerations (Chiu et al., 2012). Trust is such a powerful factor
that despite the inherent riskiness of online shopping, its values
and benets are still driving consumers to shop online (Chiu et al.,
2014), especially if trust reinforces these perceptions of values and
benets.

Online auctions such as eBay have developed an online mediation mechanism and a reputation tracking system to enhance trust
and cooperation between sellers and buyers. After concluding a
deal, both parties can evaluate each other, providing a reference
value that others can use for future evaluations (Ba & Pavlou, 2002).
Other functions of mediation systems include diagnostics to provide additional product information, analytics to determine root
causes of problems, and suggestion functions to provide additional
ideas (Yen & Lu, 2008). Overall, since there are costs involved
during the purchase and repurchase process (Wu et al., 2014), being

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H9c. Higher trust between the online auction seller and customer
exert more signicant inuence on online auction customers' level
of compromise.
A mediator is an individual or a group of people who communicate with the different parties in an online auction that will not
cause any negative effects or violations of their free. This type of
mediation is also a part of the service being provided, and providing
service is a component inuencing repurchase intentions (Chiu
et al., 2013; Kim et al., 2012). Given the wide array of price and
product related issues, online mediation can help consumers make
more efcient purchases (Chiu et al., 2012) and enjoy a smoother
auction process (Yen & Lu, 2008). Online transaction mechanisms
with good online mediations can improve consumers' perceived
usefulness and reduce consumers' perceived risk.
H10. More favorable online mediation strategies exert more inuence on online auction customers' repurchase intention.
2.7. The purchase and repurchase intentions of online auction
consumers
Willingness to buy, and henceforth purchase intentions, is the
probability of a consumer making a product purchase (Dodds et al.,
1991; Grewal et al., 1998; Zeithaml, 1988). What sellers want to
know most is how consumers form their purchase decisions, and
how to use a variety of marketing and operational tools at their
disposal to effectively inuence consumers' purchasing decisions
(Gregg & Walzack, 2008), both from the utilitarian and hedonic
perspectives.
As far as utilitarian approaches are concerned, recent researches
have pointed to the aspects of website and seller attributes (Chiu
et al., 2014), the degree of efciency and effectiveness of
acquiring the item to be purchased (Chiu et al., 2013), and the costs
associated with making the purchase (Wu et al., 2014). And as far as
the hedonic approaches are concerned, this primarily pertains to
the quality of their experiences during the online shopping process
(Chiu et al., 2014), including how the sellers' efforts mitigate risk
perceptions and enhance their service quality by building good
relationships (Zhang et al., 2011).
And the same is true for repurchase intentions. In fact, there has
been a signicant shift of the focus from examining how consumers
form purchase decisions to inducing how can they be motivated to
make repeat purchases (Chiu et al., 2012; Hsu et al., 2014), which is
very critical component for sustainable online success, especially
since it has been more and more difcult to encourage customer
loyalty due to the reduction of how sellers can differentiate
themselves from one another (Kim et al., 2012; Shin et al., 2013).
Furthermore, it has also been proven that repeat customers are
more protable, since over time more experienced customers can
spend less time and effort to make more accurate evaluations (Chiu
et al., 2014), making the seller spend less time and effort on them
on providing product and price information compared to new
customers, with whom they must provide an enormous amount of
reference information (Zhou, 2012).
Purchase intention means the possibility that consumers are
willing to purchase the product (Dodds et al., 1991). A critical
component of the entire purchase process is the satisfaction that
consumers experience when making the purchase, which is based
on their conrmation or disconrmation of their expectations
while making the purchase (Chen, 2012; Chiu et al., 2013; Hsu et al.,
2014). The idea is to judge the product or service satisfaction by
comparing the expected and perceived performance and the level
of satisfaction (Oliver, 1981) as a reference point for a repurchase
intention. Therefore, satisfaction with the purchase process can

immensely improve repurchase intentions as well (Shin et al.,


2013).
H11. Online auction customers' purchase intention has a positive
inuence on their repurchase intention.
3. Research methodology
3.1. Operationalization of price range, seller evaluation, volume of
information provided and brands
This study combines certain important elements of product and
pricing management, buyereseller relationship management, and
management of information systems to examine antecedents of
purchase and repurchase intentions.
A. The volume of information: The websites provide two auctions
with different volumes of information (Chatterjee & Datta,
2008; Finch, 2007; Gregg & Walzack, 2008; Pollach, 2008),
expecting that these two different scenarios will affect consumers' commitment costs and purchase intentions. This is one
way to mitigate product uncertainties (Dimoka et al., 2012).
High volume of information: Websites include the detailed
specications of each product.
Low volume of information: Websites only have basic information of the products.
B. Seller Evaluation: Manipulating sellers' evaluation will affect the
trust of buyers to the sellers and the bidding price (Gregg &
Walzack, 2008; Yen & Lu, 2008), hereby affecting perceptions
of seller uncertainties as well (Dimoka et al., 2012).
High evaluation: High evaluation is set at 10 points because
Yahoo considers sellers who gain over 10 points as senior sellers
and sellers who gain recognition from buyers are also regarded as
sellers with high evaluation.
Low evaluation: Low evaluation is set at 9 points as calculated by
Yahoo. Sellers who have a score of at least 10 points to be considered by the buyers as trustworthy.
C. Price range: In terms of the price range of an unbranded cell
phone with similar features as a name brand, data collected
from 20 different Pchome & eBay sellers revealed that the
average direct purchase price is NT$5079. The average base
price for the rst and nal 50% is NT$3856 and NT$2432,
respectively.
High price range: direct purchase price is NT$5000 with the base
price set at NT$2400.
Low price range: direct purchase price is NT$5000 with the base
price set at NT$3800.
The same procedure was taken for a name brand. Based on the
price information from 20 different Pchome & eBay sellers, the
average direct purchase price is NT$22,895. The average base price
for the rst and nal 50% is NT$20,977 and NT$14,956, respectively.
High price range: direct purchase price is NT$23,000 with the
base price set at NT$21,000.
Low price range: direct purchase price is NT$23,000 with the
base price set at NT$15,000.
D. Brands: To compare the unbranded cell phone with a branded
one, Pchome & eBay and Yahoo Auction are used to determine
the expected inuence of these two sets of products.

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

3.2. Measurement of internal reference price, perceived quality, and


purchase intention
In this part, a questionnaire is administered. All variables are
dened based on the references discussed earlier in the relevant
sections.
3.3. Manipulation of online mediation
A. Trust and Distrust: When the negotiator raises a question, mediators are expected handle these questions to reach a concession. By doing so, negotiators are able to share and acquire more
information, thus enhancing trust perceptions. During this
mediation process, negotiators decide to trust or distrust based
on the information exchanged and on the attitude of the mediators (Son et al., 2006).
B. Harmony and Pressure: Under harmonious situations, negotiators openly provide suggestions, share more information, and
agree to a compromise. But when negotiators feel that mediators are playing a pressing strategy to force a compromise,
members will achieve harmony supercially but may fail to
complete the transaction due to pressure and distrust.
C. Media Richness: High media richness involves the use of instant
messaging software like MSN and SKYPE to conduct negotiations because of its wide array of communication features aside
from text facilities. For low richness, auction message boards
will be used and consumers leave questions on the sellers'
message boards. Most sellers however, respond to these questions during their off-peak times, causing signicant delays and
making consumers check the messages boards periodically.
Consumers can also use facial icons to differentiate the effects of
media richness to mediators' performance. This study will take
facial icons to express trust, distrust, harmony, and pressing,
where typically can be happy, angry, sad, terried, contempt and
surprised (Knapp & Hall, 2010) and are classied into positive
[love, happy, surprised] and negative [angry, sad, scared] ones
(Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson, & O'Connor, 1987). Facial icons are
used to represent the inuence of coordination strategy and
trust. A smile emotion icon represents when trust and coordination strategy results to a positive emotion. Praised gesture
indicates that mediators used a coordinated strategy to bring
good feelings to both parties to encourage them to express some
opinions. The angry face icon denotes distrust and pressure. The
green face icon indicates that the mediators used a pressing
strategy to achieve a compromise as soon as possible.
3.4. The measurement of repurchase intention
Expectationeconrmation theory posits to take the result by
comparing the expectation before and perceived performance after
the purchase as a basis to evaluate repurchase intentions (Oliver,
1981), implying that consumers' satisfaction and price acceptance
will affect repurchase intentions (Chen, 2012; Hsu et al., 2014; Kim
et al., 2012; Muthitacharoen et al., 2011; Yen & Lu, 2008). Additionally, even though customer loyalty is affected by environmental

191

factors or marketing strategies, the preference of some products or


the commitment of repurchase may remain unchanged (Oliver &
Swan, 1989) (Tables 1e3).
The stimuli are Pchome & eBay and Yahoo auction websites
administered to four groups of respondents. After the subjects have
their respective experiences in interacting and transacting with
these websites, they are asked to ll out a questionnaire on their
experiences with interacting with the website. Afterwards, subjects
will get into two different auction environments depending on the
experiment distribution. Each subject can repeat the experience
two to four times in a different auction environment. Since these
experimental environments are simulated with real auction environments, the more times they get into the websites, the more
features they can feel in each auction website. Subjects have to ll
up a questionnaire evaluating the product information (Anderson,
Engledow, & Becker, 1979; Brucks, 1985), seller ratings (Abels,
White, & Hahn, 1997), differences in direct purchase and base
prices (Donthu & Gilliland, 1996), brands (Blackston, 1992), and
purchase and repurchase intentions (Arnold & Reynolds, 2003),
each time they went into a simulation environment, and then they
will get into the mediators' part, which is either a Pchome & eBay or
a Yahoo mediation system.
3.4.1. Simulation group 1
Trust and harmony. Mediators will use their expertise and
interrupt appropriately. They will list the problems of the disputes
and professionally build trust to encourage more information
sharing, more goodwill, and achieve nal coordination.
3.4.2. Simulation group 2
Distrust and harmony. One negotiator will send a message of
distrust to the mediators and take a reserved attitude by sharing
more information or making a compromise. Mediators will still
adopt a professional attitude. Concessions may not be reached.
3.4.3. Simulation group 3
Trust and pressing. Negotiators share information while the
mediators use a pressing strategy to remind the negotiators that
they will be penalized if a concession is not achieved. Parties will
achieve a concession, but within an uncomfortable environment.
3.4.4. Simulation group 4
Distrust and pressing. Mediators create an uncomfortable atmosphere under pressure. The negotiators will insist on their
opinions, and mediators will use a pressing strategy to persuade
both parties to achieve a concession. There will be no consensus
achieved between both parties.
After the mediation process, participants ll out another questionnaire to complete the experiment. The study uses unbranded
cell phones as the experimental product put up for bid on the same
day. This prevents buyers from setting the direct purchase price too
low. The experiment sets the average direct purchase price in the
websites. Setting base prices are based on the average base price of
each seller. Product information covers price, product attributes,
brand, and advertising (Dodds et al., 1991; Zeithaml, 1988) (Table 4).

Table 1
Four factor experiment design e Yahoo Auction/Pchome & eBay.

Unbranded Cell phone


Branded cell phone

Low price range


High price range
Low price range
High price range

Product information highly provided

Product information insufciently provided

Sellers with high reputation

Sellers with low reputation

Sellers with high reputation

Sellers with low reputation

2
2
3
4

1
2
3
4

1
2
3
4

1
2
3
4

192

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

Table 2
Three factor experiment design.

High media richness


Low media richness

Trust
Distrust
Trust
Distrust

Coordination strategy

Pressing strategy

1
3
5
7

2
4
6
8

Sellers will send an evaluation form to buyers after completing a


transaction, and buyers will provide a positive or negative evaluation based on product quality, value, interaction, and responses
during the purchase period. Mediators should have a strong capability to resolve disputes. Consequently, in an Internet organization,
a facilitator plays a very important role. To have Internet organization work smoothly, it indeed needs a group of facilitators.
4. Experimental analysis and discussion
The total number of questionnaires returned for both part are
120 each (Tables 5 and 6).
This research takes independent samples t-test to see if there is
a signicant difference between Yahoo Auction and PChome & eBay
Auction in the context of unbranded cell phones. Under conditions
of high evaluation, high volume of information, and high price,
Yahoo (M 118.73, SD 15.92) and PChome & eBay (M 139.27,
SD 10.05) have a signicant difference (t 4.22, p 0.00). With
low evaluation, high volume of information, and high price, Yahoo
(M 111.60, SD 20.25) vs. PChome & eBay (M 124.27,
SD 11.04) also has a signicant difference (t 2.13, p 0.04).
Under conditions of high evaluation, low volume of information,
and high price, Yahoo (M 101.00, SD 9.20) vs. PChome & eBay
(M 119.73, SD 9.91) also has signicant difference (t 5.37,
p 0.00). With low evaluation, low volume of information, and
high price, Yahoo (M 93.27, SD 13.23) vs. PChome & eBay
(M 115.20, SD 12.01) also has a signicant difference (t 4.76,
p 0.00). The rest of the pairing combinations show no signicant
difference. As for branded cell phones, no signicant difference was
found in any of the pairing combinations done for this study.
This means that branded cell phones will not be affected by the
evaluation, volume of information and price differences in online
auction website because all t-tests show that there is no signicant
difference. On the other hand, unbranded cell phones will be
affected by the evaluation, volume of information and price differences in online auction website because the t-tests show that
there is signicant difference found in some dimensions between
Yahoo Auction and PChome & eBay Auction. These results already

provide some credence to the potential overriding inuence of


branding (Kamins & Marks, 1991) and familiarity (Hoyer & Brown,
1990) towards purchase intentions as earlier argued, even in online
contexts (Shiau & Luo, 2012).
A signicant difference (t 2.56, p 0.016) exists between
independent samples of high media richness, trust, and cooperation (M 60.00, SD 8.70) vs. high media richness, trust and
pressing (M 52.87, SD 6.39). No signicant differences were
found in the other pairing combinations.
4.1. Multivariate analysis
This research conducts one-way ANOVA to measure the significance of the study variables' effects. For the product information
dimension, information on product return processes and costs has a
signicant effect on purchase intention (F 4.750, p < 0.0.05). For
the sellers' evaluation dimension, the seller meeting online buyers'
needs (F 4.887, p < 0.0.05), the product and service meeting
online buyers' needs (F 4.726, p < 0.0.05) and seller trustworthiness (F 4.725, p < 0.05) have signicant effects on purchase
intentions (Tables 7 and 8).
Price range dimension has no signicant effect on purchase
intention. As to brand dimensions, the ability to purchase brand
product (F 4.247, p < 0.05), the choice to buy an unbranded
phone, (F 5.383, p < 0.05) and feeling the difference between
unbranded and branded phones (F 7.161, p < 0.05) signicantly
affect purchase intentions. The mediation strategy was found to
have no signicant effect on purchase intentions (Tables 9e11).
The next part discusses the results of the four-factor multivariate analysis on each website considered in the experiment. For
Yahoo, unbranded cell phones (M 104.2, SD 18.64) and branded
cell phones (M 109.47, SD 18.37) have a signicant difference
(F 8.193, p < 0.05). Higher seller evaluation (M 112.98,
SD 17.95) vs. lower seller evaluation (M 100.69, SD 17.34)
have a signicant difference (F 44.484, p < 0.05). Price also has a
very signicant effect (F 121.232, p < 0.05). This means that high
range of price difference (M 116.98, SD 15.74) and low range of
price difference (M 96.69, SD 15.61) have a signicant difference. Furthermore, providing more product information
(M 108.94, SD 19.28) vs. less product information (M 104.73,
SD 17.84) also induced signicant difference (F 5.214, p < 0.05).
No signicant interaction effects were found.
The ANOVA analysis results for PChome & eBay are as follows.
Unbranded cell phones (M 116.88, SD 17.98) and branded cell
phones (M 110.25, SD 18.64) have a signicant difference
(F 14.77, p < 0.05). Seller reputation also has a signicant effect
(F 33.58, p < 0.05). This indicates that high seller reputation

Table 3
Four groups of experiment websites.
Group 1 (A)

Group 2 (B)

Group 3 (C)

Group 4 (D)

High evaluation, high volume of information, high price range, fake cell phones
Low evaluation, high volume of information, high price range, fake cell phones
High evaluation, low volume of information, high price range, fake cell phones
Low evaluation, low volume of information, high price range, fake cell phones
High evaluation, high volume of information, low price range, fake cell phones
Low evaluation, high volume of information, low price range, fake cell phones
High evaluation, low volume of information, low price range, fake cell phones
Low evaluation, low volume of information, low price range, fake cell phones
High evaluation, high volume of information, high price range, branded cell phones
Low evaluation, high volume of information, high price range, branded cell phones
High evaluation, low volume of information, high price range, branded cell phones
Low evaluation, low volume of information, high price range, branded cell phones
High evaluation, high volume of information, low price range, branded cell phones
Low evaluation, high volume of information, low price range, branded cell phones
High evaluation, low volume of information, low price range, branded cell phones
Low evaluation, low volume of information, low price range, branded cell phones

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196


Table 4
Product information categories.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Table 6
Participants' online purchasing characteristics.

Exterior Design: Size, weight, designs


Basic function: MP4 standard function, memory, accessories
Special features: E-book, le view, play videos and other special functions
Transactin process: Bidding, delivery, payment and other information
Benet: Benets from using this product
Seller information: Seller features and requested information
Other services: Provide service for returns, replacements, etc.

(M 118.56, SD 17.13) vs. low seller reputation (M 108.56,


SD 18.68) can also induce signicant differences. Price has a very
signicant effect (F 130.55, p-value < 0.05), indicating that high
price ranges (M 123.42, SD 13.99) and low price ranges
(M 103.70, SD 17.35) exert signicant inuence. More product
information provided (M 119.00, SD 17.31) compared to less
product information provided (M 108.13, SD 18.26) also has a
signicant difference (F 39.65, p < 0.05). Furthermore, there is
signicant interaction effect between cell phone type and level of
product information provided (F-value 7.106, p-value < 0.05).
Cell phone type and price levels also produces a signicant interaction effect (F-value 8.564, p-value < 0.05). Both sets of results
from these two online auction websites lend support to H1eH8,
and H11.
Examining mediator effects requires a three-factor multivariate
analysis. Differences in mediation strategies have a signicant effect (F 381.63, p-value 0.001), indicating that creating a
harmonious environment (M 57.36, SD 7.16) and exerting
pressure (M 53.80, SD 4.86) has a signicant difference. High
and low media richness was found to have no signicant difference
(F 0.507, p-value 0.478). Trust (M 56.71, SD 6.33) and
distrust (M 54.45, SD 6.23) also account for signicant

Table 5
Participants' demographic prole.
Sample characteristics

Items

Times

Percentage (%)

Gender

Male
Female
15e18 years old
19e23 years old
24e28 years old
29e35 years old
Over 35 years old
Undergraduate
Graduate
Less than an year
1e1.5 years
1.5e2 years
2e2.5 years
More than 2 years
Less than 0.5 h
0.5e1 h
1e1.5 h
1.5e2 h
More than 2 h
2500e3500
3600e6500
12,000e20,000
21,000e23,000
APPLE
LG
Vietnam
China
Others
Taiwan Mobile
Fareastone
Chunghwa Telecom
Others

51
69
5
88
24
2
1
95
25
20
17
17
18
48
42
44
13
10
11
16
52
45
15
119
1
1
118
1
11
3
103
3

42.5%
57.5%
4.2%
73.3%
20.0%
1.7%
0.8%
79.2%
20.8%
16.7%
14.2%
14.2%
15.0%
40.0%
35.0%
36.7%
10.8%
8.3%
9.2%
13.3%
36.4%
37.3%
12.4%
99.2%
0.8%
0.8%
98.3%
0.8%
9.2%
2.5%
85.8%
2.5%

Age

Education
Number of years participating
in online auctions

Browsing time spent

Reference price (NT$)

Branded phones used


Unbranded phones used

Provider

193

Sample characteristics

Items

Auction website that browse


the most

Yahoo!
PChome & eBay auction
Others
Total browsing time spent
Less than 0.5 year
0.5e1 year
1 to 2 years
2e3 years
More than 3 years
Roles in online auction sites
Almost are buyers
Most of them are buyers
Both buyer and seller
Most of them are sellers
Almost are buyers
Trading goods bought and sold Almost are second
hand products
Most are second
hand products
Both second and new
products
Most are new products
Almost are new products
Amount of the transaction
Under 500
(Volume)
500e1000
1000e3000
3000e5000
Over 5000
Auction times
0e1 times
2e3 times
7e10 times
More than 10 times
Satisfaction on handling of
A little dissatised
disputes
Dissatised
General
Satised
Very satised
Never encounter
Auction features importance
Transaction Price
Response speed of the
complaint issue,
multi-channel
communication
Browse menu design
and operation method
Purchase price (NT$)
Under 4000
4000e8000
8000e12,000
Over 12,000
How many cell phones
0
purchased?
1
2
Brands of the cell phones
APPLE
NOKIA
MOTOROLA
Samsung
LG
SONY Ericsson
HTC
Others

Times Percentage
(%)
93
25
2
9
16
24
37
34
73
18
23
4
2
6

77.5%
20.8%
1.7%
7.5%
13.3%
20.0%
30.8%
28.3%
60.8%
15.0%
19.2%
3.3%
1.7%
5.0%

13

10.8%

29

24.2%

22
50
55
28
25
11
1
50
40
19
11
9
14
25
33
13
26
23
39

18.3%
41.7%
45.8%
23.3%
20.8%
9.2%
0.8%
41.7%
33.3%
15.8%
9.1%
7.5%
11.7%
20.8%
27.5%
10.8%
21.7%
19.2%
32.5%

58

48.4%

56
46
15
3
5
81
34
6
35
7
3
4
49
8
8

46.7%
38.3%
12.5%
2.5%
4.2%
67.5%
28.3%
5.0%
29.2%
5.8%
2.5%
3.3%
40.8%
6.7%
6.7%

differences (F 154.13, p-value 0.038). Additionally, media


richness and trust have a signicant interaction effect (F 7.421,
p 0.007). These results provide support for H9a, H9c, and H10
(Tables 12e14).
5. Conclusion
5.1. Discussions and suggestions
This study is anchored on the factors that inuence consumers'
purchase and repurchase intentions. The experimental design

194

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196

Table 7
ANOVA results of product information and purchase intention.

Reference information
Comparison and evaluation
Meet the demand
Consider buying

Table 9
ANOVA results of price range and purchase intention.

Sig.

3.187
2.583
3.641
4.750

0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000

observed consumers' behavior under different simulated environments affecting purchase intentions, taking different factors from
economics, marketing, and information systems and examining
their direct and interaction roles in inuencing purchase and
repurchase intentions Furthermore, examining the occurrence of
post-auction disputes, the role of the mediators and the strategies
at their disposal were also studied to see its effects on repurchase
intentions. This is an important aspect of online shopping, as
increased repurchase intentions is dependent on several different
factors (Chiu et al., 2014; Hsu et al., 2014), and can ensure the future
of an online business (Hsu et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2012; Shin et al.,
2013).
As the number of consumers using online auction websites
grows over time, so do their abilities to nd more product information on items for purchase, especially since repeat customers
gradually become better in searching, comparing, and evaluating
products (Chiu et al., 2014). The results show that the accuracy of
sellers' information and products' information mitigate purchase
risks and improve purchase intentions. Furthermore mediation
strategies and competitive pressures help to develop customers'
loyalty encouraging repurchase intentions, all consistent with
previous literature. These effects are further bolstered when
trustworthiness comes into the picture, further implying that
trustworthiness, earned by superior delivery of quality, also
encourage repurchase intentions (Chiu et al., 2013; Chiu et al.,
2012).
Several elements of this online auction process are considered
here. Overall, the ndings indicate that when consumers purchase
a certain product, they usually refer to multiple sources to make
evaluations. This is most especially true for unbranded items
available for purchase. Firstly, consumers often use store names and
brands as important factors in judging a product (Shiau & Luo,
2012), indicating that familiarity is an important consideration
(Chiu et al., 2012; Yoo & Kim, 2014). This was further evidenced by
the results where product evaluations, information volume, and
price information does not matter when examining branded
products. As consumers' familiarity with a seller improves, purchase intentions also tend to improve. The same can be said with
comparing price levels, again especially for unbranded items.
Thirdly, as sellers enhance the security, privacy, and feedbacks capabilities, the consumers' desire to purchase and likelihood of a
repurchase will also improve (Chiu et al., 2014). In summary, information on the brand is the rst thing customers tend to look for.
Otherwise, other pieces of information, such as prices and seller
reputations will be considered.

Table 8
ANOVA results of seller evaluation and purchase intention.

Evaluation
Service
Be careful
Behavior
Overall

Sig.

3.035
4.887
1.549
4.726
4.725

0.000
0.000
0.048
0.000
0.000

No big difference
Big difference
Higher
Lower

Sig.

1.410
1.911
1.485
1.605

0.096
0.006
0.066
0.036

Going deeper, A very important feature in an online auction is


the capability to provide and compare different product and price
information, especially designed to minimize uncertainties and
information asymmetries (Wu et al., 2014). Furthermore, as consumers rate these online auction websites favorably, the product
information provided is perceived to be more reliable. For the two
auction websites included in this study, Yahoo and PChome & eBay,
factors such as product evaluations, sellers' evaluation, volume of
information provided, and branding affect purchase intentions.
Again, the results show that if the item to be purchased is unbranded, the results of the evaluation made, the volume of product
information provided, and the price range all have an effect on
purchase intentions. Branded products makes sellers and buyers
have more condence on the products simply because they are
generally more trustworthy, especially given general consumer
beliefs on brands.
Additionally, the manner in which product information is
exchanged also matters. Buyers and sellers can easily reinforce
their situational behaviors to exert competitive pressures and
respond to all the problems among mediators and negotiators
promptly. This is evidenced by the results where mediation strategies and competitive pressures were found to have signicant
effects. In other words, buyers and sellers interacting with each
other more often can induce repurchase intentions as this is
another way where information asymmetries can be reduced (Chiu
et al., 2014).
These interaction results imply that if sellers want improved
perceptions, their online auction websites must build credibility
through several media channels and methods (Chatterjee & Datta,
2008; Son et al., 2006). This presents customers additional channels for which to communicate with the sellers. Furthermore, the
more product information provided by the sellers, especially in the
form of pictures, product descriptions, prices, and sellers' evaluations, the more buyers will have favorable perceptions towards
sellers (Gregg & Walzack, 2008). The more interesting thing about
this part is that improving media richness does not by itself inuence repurchase intentions. Improving media richness only matters
if there is enough trust developed and maintained. This further
reinforces the notion of how important trust is in inducing consumers to make repeat purchases (Chiu et al., 2013; Chiu et al.,
2012).
In addition, sellers' evaluations positively affect buyers' purchase intentions simply because buyers usually check sellers'
evaluation before making a purchase (Zhang et al., 2011). Sellers
can actually publish their positive evaluations and even implement

Table 10
ANOVA results of brand and purchase intention.

Loyal customer
Purchase ability
Willing to buy
Difference

Sig.

1.676
4.247
5.383
7.161

0.024
0.000
0.000
0.000

J.V. Chen et al. / Computers in Human Behavior 54 (2016) 186e196


Table 11
ANOVA results of mediation strategy, trust and media richness.

Mediation Strategy
Level of trust
Media richness

195

Table 14
ANOVA results of mediators.

Sig.

Source

Sig.

2.083
1.349
1.052

0.009
0.164
0.412

Media
Concert
Condence
Media* concert
Media* condence
Concert* condence
Media* concert* condence

0.507
10.971
4.431
1.044
7.421
1.690
0.245

0.478
0.001
0.038
0.309
0.007
0.196
0.621

some methods to enhance media richness such as providing a


Frequently Asked Questions page and additional e-mail facilities to
encourage more positive buyer feedback (Chatterjee & Datta, 2008;
Son et al., 2006).
Overall, these results further imply that the website design and
the degree of interactive freedom given to the buyers to browse
around are very important factors (Chiu et al., 2014; Zhang et al.,
2011). Addressing these different factors to inuence both purchase and repurchase intentions are obviously a great consideration for sellers to achieve better performance. Especially in terms
of online buying behavior, how to build and improve relationships
with buyers and maintain their trust are also critical (Zhang et al.,
2011). Building on the strengths of trust intentions and transferring trust intentions into an auction behavior is also a crucial ecommerce business strategy which is a key factor in not only
developing the e-commerce market, but also ensuring its sustainability by having a steady stream of loyal customers who are willing
to make repeat purchases (Chen, 2012; Kim et al., 2012; Shin et al.,
2013).
This research contributes to existing knowledge by examining
how a number of utilitarian and hedonic factors can work together

Table 12
ANOVA results for Yahoo Auction.
Source

Sig.

Phone
Information
Price
Vendor
Phone* information
Phone* price
Information* price
Phone* information* price
Phone* vendor
Information* vendor
Phone* information* vendor
Price* vendor
Phone* price* vendor
Information* price* vendor
Phone* information* price* vendor

8.193
5.214
121.232
44.484
.028
.185
.141
1.372
.945
.479
.945
.430
.700
.028
.022

0.005
0.023
0.000
0.000
0.867
0.668
0.708
0.243
0.332
0.490
0.332
0.513
0.404
0.867
0.882

Table 13
ANOVA results for Pchome & eBay.

to inuence purchase and repurchase intentions. By taking crucial


elements from recent previous studies on how website characteristics (Hsu et al., 2014; Yoo & Kim, 2014), product and pricing
characteristics (Liang & Chen, 2012), and seller behaviors (Hsu
et al., 2014; Shiau & Luo, 2012), this research presents a more
comprehensive look at the dynamics of online auction websites and
how they can encourage purchase and repurchase intentions,
especially in the face of competition from other e-commerce platforms. Furthermore, aside from the validated direct effects, this
research also highlights the resulting interaction effects of brand
and product information, and of media richness and trust. Also, the
use of the experiment research design enables the examination of a
number of these complexities of online auctions, identifying which
factors can directly inuence purchase and repurchase intentions,
and which ones have to interact with other factors to do so.
5.2. Limitations and directions for future research
The samples in this research focused on students with some
online auction experience. While the use of student sample is
common practice (Liang & Chen, 2012; Yoo & Kim, 2014), it is
obvious that different demographic groups can have differing effects as they would have different approaches to learning and
interaction approaches, having different capacities for observing,
imitating, modeling, and possess different attitudes towards control, self-condence, motivations, and self-efcacy (Chen, 2012).
Focusing on different groups of consumers and on different ecommerce platforms selling other products online in future
research will denitely provide some more useful insights and
would improve overall generalizability as it can be observed how
different demographic groups put emphasis on the same independent variables and nd out which ones are more important or
less important for them as far as making purchase and repurchase
decisions. This can further help both researchers and managers to
see how to make their online selling and promotion strategies more
tailor-t in the hopes of inducing more favorable behavior.
References

Source

Sig.

Phone
Information
Price
Vendor
Phone* information
Phone* price
Information* price
Phone* information* price
Phone* vendor
Information* vendor
Phone* information* vendor
Price* vendor
Phone* price* vendor
Information* price* vendor
Phone* information* price* vendor

14.777
39.656
130.552
33.583
7.106
8.564
.002
.068
.063
.000
.013
.114
.128
2.299
.674

0.000
0.000
0.000
0.000
0.008
0.004
0.962
0.795
0.802
1.000
0.908
0.736
0.721
0.131
0.413

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