Privacy Signals: Exploring the Relationship between Cookies and Online Purchase Intention

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Ana Paula Merenda Richarde orcid
Paulo Henrique Muller Prado orcid
Jorge Brantes Ferreira orcid


Objective: This study examined the role of transparency in opt-in marketing strategies, assessing the influence of cookie acceptance and consumer perception of risks and benefits on online purchasing intention. Theoretical approach: Previous studies have shown that consumers are concerned about privacy but feel uncertain about the consequences of their online behaviors. Drawing upon signaling theory applied to consumer behavior, we analyzed the influence of privacy signals on purchasing intention. Method: We employed a quantitative methodology comprising a descriptive study and four experimental studies. Results: Cookie acceptance positively affects purchasing intention only when consumers accept cookie collection and have a need for the product, resulting in a greater perception of benefits. Risks do not exhibit significance in this process. However, providing more information on data collection proves advantageous as it increases purchasing intention, even for those who do not accept cookies. Conclusions: We contribute to signaling theory by demonstrating that the product need is a determining factor for cookie acceptance. Furthermore, both notice and choice options are insufficient in protecting consumer privacy in online purchases.


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Richarde, A. P. M., Prado, P. H. M., & Ferreira, J. B. (2023). Privacy Signals: Exploring the Relationship between Cookies and Online Purchase Intention. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 27(4), e220311.
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