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. The findings demonstrate that initial trust serves as a critical mediator in the relationship between these design strategies and consumers' adoption intentions. Additionally, the chosen revenue model 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.
Konya-Baumbach, E., Schuhmacher, M. C., Kuester, S., & Kuharev, V. (2019). 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, 36(3), 385–399. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2019.01.008