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|Title:||The impact of information seeking mode and Web atmospherics on consumer perceived value and interaction with retail Web sites|
|Keywords:||Web atmospherics;consumer;perceived value;retail Web sites|
|Abstract:||<p> This document describes a research study that investigates ways of designing the Web atmospherics of retail shopping sites to better support consumers in their product information seeking. In this regard, the document identifies two significant modes of product information seeking (product browsing and product searching) and concentrates on two specific types of Web atmospherics (information presentation and information focus). Information presentation concerns the format of information displayed on the Web shopping interface, while information focus concerns the granularity of this displayed information. Utilizing these theoretical constructs, this document proposes that: i) matching information presentation to information seeking mode will lead to increased levels of consumer perceived value with Web shopping sites; ii) information seeking mode will influence user preferences for Web page design elements of Web pages with different information focus granularities; iii) information seeking mode will yield distinctive patterns of on-line consumer behavior; and iv) information presentation will impact the extent to which consumers interact with a Web shopping site. </p> <p> In order to investigate the effects of information presentation and information focus on consumer Web information seeking, this document outlines a randomized experiment. The experiment places subjects into either a browsing or searching mode, and manipulates information presentation within a simulated Web shopping environment. Measured outcomes in terms of perceived hedonic and utilitarian values are used to determine interactions between information seeking mode and information presentation. An analysis of test subjects' usage of the experimental Web site is conducted to assess: i) how information presentation and information seeking mode impact test subjects' preferences for Web pages and Web page design elements of different information focus granularities; and ii) the extent to which analysis of the interactions yield distinctive patterns of on-line behavior. </p> <p> Findings from the experiment provide support for two distinct behavioral patterns corresponding to searching and browsing information seeking modes: i) searchers and browsers chose to view Web pages and Web page design elements consistent with their information focus; and ii) on-line behavior is moderated by varying the level of information presentation. Specifically, browsing is associated with a more diffuse information focus than is searching; and as predicted, browsers view more pages and click on hyper-links that are of a more diffuse information focus (category-level pages, view related products) than do searchers. Further the moderating role of information presentation is seen in the number of search pages viewed by searchers and browsers at each level of information presentation. The results also indicate that the perceived hedonic and utilitarian value scales are likely not sufficiently sensitive to measure the experimental manipulations in this experiment. </p> <p> In addition to the running of an experiment, a key deliverable of this research is the development of a research tool that simulates a real-life shopping environment where consumers browse and search for product-related information. The tool allows for placement of subjects into experimental treatments that utilize different renderings of the shopping interface. The tool also provides a means of measuring subject responses through a built-in questionnaire and a behavioral tracking mechanism. Through the running of the experiment, the tool is shown to be effective at producing treatment differences and capturing behavioral patterns of users' interactions with the simulated shopping interface. </p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Harold_Allan_2007Aug_Phd.pdf||11.5 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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