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The impact of Web interface characteristics on consumers' online shopping behavior

Опубликовано на портале: 25-12-2003
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Менеджмент, Маркетинг

As B2C e-commerce proliferates, understanding consumers' online shopping behavior becomes increasingly important. A feature central to the success of commercial websites is the design of an effective interface to present product information. A literature review of information systems, marketing, and e-commerce research suggests that interface characteristics are capable of influencing consumers' information search and processing. However, there is a lack of empirical research on the effects of different Web interface characteristics on consumers' online shopping behavior. Drawing upon a number of theories from information systems, marketing, vision research, and cognitive psychology, this thesis examines several Web interface characteristics, including information format (list versus matrix), animation (flash), and presentation mode (image versus text), in different task environments (searching versus browsing). Study one shows that when there is a match between the information format and the shopping task, consumers can search the website more efficiently and have better recall of product information. Specifically, the list format better supports browsing tasks while the matrix format facilitates searching tasks. Study two examines a common form of animation, flash, on consumers' online information search. Animation has been widely used on the commercial websites to attract consumers' attention. Results of study two suggest that although salient features do attract attention, they may not lead to increased information processing as generally expected in the industry. Study three highlights the importance of images in supporting consumers' online browsing behavior. Consumers can browse the websites more efficiently and effectively when product images are provided and when product information is organized in the list format. As the advances in online publishing technologies have enabled online retailers to have unprecedented control of information presentation, the findings of this thesis have significant contribution to the design of commercial websites.