This study examines the differential impact of perceived risk upon two alternative channels of distribution, namely specialty store and mail-order buying, for different product categories.
Given the critical role of perceived risk in limiting mail-order buying different types of risk relievers and their potential for reducing perceived risk have been analyzed.
This study confirms the general belief that mail-order buying is not only more risky than buying the same product in a specialty store but it also indicates "that the level of perceived risk seems to be highly influenced by the value of the product.
Although mail-order companies may reduce this competitive disadvantage by using the appropriate risk relievers the results clearly indicate that risk relievers differ considerably in effectiveness. "Money-back guarantee" and "offering products with positive ratings of consumer organizations" are among the better risk relievers.