Online vicarious-experience: using technology to help consumers evaluate physical products over the Internet
AuthorSMITH, STEPHEN PATRICK
AffiliationScience: Department of Information Systems
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsSmith, S. P. (2006). Online vicarious-experience: using technology to help consumers evaluate physical products over the Internet. PhD thesis, Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2006 Dr. Stephen P. Smith.
This research investigates ways to help shoppers evaluate physical products via the Internet. The primary research issue is, therefore, how to provide experience vicariously. The study was undertaken in three parts. First, an extensive range of Web sites belonging to Internet-based retailers was examined, together with literature on vicarious experience and Web page design. These helped to explore the question of ‘What components of Web-based representations of physical products might assist shoppers when trying to evaluate those products as part of a purchase decision?’ Online store systems that are representative of the main communication styles found in the Web survey were then evaluated in a series of laboratory-based experiments. This second part of the study makes a broad assessment of the impact of representative technologies on the product evaluation process. Finally, a smaller-scale, more targeted investigation was conducted, also using a laboratory-based experiment. This third part of the study assesses the impact of an individual’s evaluation style on the perceived success of representative technologies.
Keywordsonline shopping; Internet store design; consumer decision-making; consumer trust; online experience
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