What trust cues increase the intention to buy online among consumers? A comparative study between North African and European Consumers.

Last registered on August 02, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

What trust cues increase the intention to buy online among consumers? A comparative study between North African and European Consumers.
Initial registration date
June 04, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 04, 2021, 2:08 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
August 02, 2021, 6:14 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
TU Berlin
PI Affiliation
TU Berlin
PI Affiliation
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
An important impediment to the development of the digital economy in middle-income countries is the low rate of digital payments made by consumers (Cheng, 2019). In this experiment, we test how different online-offer conditions affect customers’ intention to buy a product, and their trust in the seller. We conduct a scenario-based experiment among North African consumers, comparing the effects of admitting online-payments only (vs cash-on-delivery), and of offering free returns (vs no returns). Additionally, we compare the effects among a sample of North African consumers to a sample of European consumers.


Cheng, R. (2019). Policy and Regulatory Issues with Digital Business. Policy Research Working Paper no. 8948, Washington DC: The World Bank.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Amri, Ines et al. 2021. "What trust cues increase the intention to buy online among consumers? A comparative study between North African and European Consumers. ." AEA RCT Registry. August 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7630-1.1
Experimental Details


Study participants are exposed to a hypothetical scenario resembling an online marketplace product page. For all participants, the page presents information about a product, its cost and the rating of the seller. Participants are randomized into one of four treatment groups; the treatment groups differ by the type of returns policy and payment options available.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our two primary outcomes are ‘intention to buy’ and ‘trust in the seller’.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The two outcomes are measured through the survey as follows:
1. Intention to buy (ITB, on a 7-point Likert scale): “I would be willing to buy this product”
2. Trust in seller (TIS, on a 7-point Likert scale): “The seller seems to be trustworthy”

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This is a scenario-based online experiment where subjects see a hypothetical product page on an online shopping website. Participants are randomly assigned into one of four treatment groups (2x2 design): no offline payment/offline payment, no free return policy/free return policy. Subjects also see different seller ratings (3.9 or 4.9 out of 5 stars). All described conditions apply to one product that is randomly selected from the designed set of six. Participants are asked to fill out a short survey indicating their intention to purchase the product and trust in the seller among other variables.

We recruit two samples: one in three North African countries (in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco); and another in Europe.
Experimental Design Details
On top of the outcome variables, we will also collect a number of additional demographic variables, such as gender and age, as well information on the participants’ disposition to trust, familiarity with online marketplaces, and views on free returns policies and payment methods.
Randomization Method
Simple computer randomization through the survey page. (Equal probability of being assigned to any of the treatment groups).
Randomization Unit
Study participant.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
We aim to recruit a minimum sample of 300 participants, equally divided between the North African and European samples.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research e.V.
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials