Making a First Impression as a Start-Up: Strategies to Overcome Low Initial Trust Perceptions in Digital Innovation Adoption

International Journal of Research in Marketing, Forthcoming

Posted: 4 Feb 2019

See all articles by Elisa Konya-Baumbach

Elisa Konya-Baumbach

University of Mannheim - Department of Marketing

Monika Schuhmacher

Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Department of Technology, Innovation, and Start-up Management

Sabine Kuester

University of Mannheim, Department of Marketing & Innovation

Victoria Kuharev

Justus-Liebig-University Giessen

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

High failure rates of digital innovations by start-ups indicate that consumers’ initial trust perceptions are make-or-break for their survival. Hence, start-ups have to design adequate business models to manage consumers’ initial trust perceptions of digital innovations. Five experiments explore how start-ups can signal trustworthiness in order to overcome low initial trust perceptions and boost adoption. We find three specific design strategies of start-ups’ digital business models – customer ratings, benefit communication, and revenue model – to be effective to overcome low initial trust perceptions and to increase adoption of digital innovations of start-ups. The findings demonstrate that initial trust serves as a critical mediator in the relationship between these design strategies and consumers’ adoption intention. Additionally, the revenue model chosen has differential effects on privacy concerns, which mediate the relationship between revenue model and initial trust. The present empirical insights help start-ups to craft business model design strategies for successful digital innovation launch.

Keywords: start-up, digital innovation, digital business model, initial trust, privacy concerns, adoption intention

Suggested Citation

Konya-Baumbach, Elisa and Schuhmacher, Monika and Kuester, Sabine and Kuharev, Victoria, Making a First Impression as a Start-Up: Strategies to Overcome Low Initial Trust Perceptions in Digital Innovation Adoption (2019). International Journal of Research in Marketing, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3324942

Elisa Konya-Baumbach (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Marketing ( email )

L5, 1
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Monika Schuhmacher

Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Department of Technology, Innovation, and Start-up Management ( email )

Licher Str. 62
Gießen, 35394
Germany

Sabine Kuester

University of Mannheim, Department of Marketing & Innovation ( email )

Germany

Victoria Kuharev

Justus-Liebig-University Giessen ( email )

Licher Str. 64
Giessen, 35394
Germany

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