Prior research identifies the influential factors for patronage intentions as product classes, retailer attributes, and risk perceptions. The Internet's ability to offer easy information search, therefore to reduce certain types of risk for products mandates evaluation of a new product classification framework called Search, Experience, and Credence. To test the nomological validity of the SEC-framework, this study investigates whether the SEC-products influence the (1) level of importance consumers place on retailer attributes, (2) level and types of risks consumers perceive, and (3) consumer patronage intentions for Internet and physical stores. The relationships between the (4) importance consumers place on retailer attributes and their risk perceptions, and (5) risk perceptions and patronage intentions for Internet and physical stores are investigated. The findings indicate while the importance of retailer attributes is equally significant across the four product classes, the SEC-products influence consumer risk perceptions and purchase-intentions for online and physical-stores. The relationship between important retailer attributes and risk perceptions is also significant.
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