Online Shop Presentation Modes for Consumer Decision Making and Flow Experiences
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This research investigates the influence of product record presentation modes on the process and outcomes of online shopping. Experiments investigated eight combinations of product presentation modes by partnering with an online retailer to access a sample of online shoppers. In terms of the shopping process, the study examines the effects of presentation modes on shopper decision making and experience of flow in online shopping. In terms of outcomes, the influence of presentation modes and shopper processes on decision confidence, satisfaction and effort are investigated in addition to influence on shopper intention to return and intention to purchase. The study contributes novel instruments for assessing shopper decision making processes and shopper experience of flow. The study also delineates the suitability of presentation mode conditions to support online shopping processes and outcomes. The growth of online shopping brings with it cognitive challenges for consumers attempting to assess vast numbers of options in purchase decisions. Further, there is little guidance for vendors in terms of presenting large numbers of product options to aid consumer decision processing and experiences. This study provides guidelines to vendors both in terms of supporting consumer shopping processes and in terms of consumer intention to return and purchase from the online shop. Results indicate that optimising the consumer experience during their shopping trip may be of greater importance for vendors than supporting better decision behaviours. The findings relating to online shopper flow experience are more substantial than those relating to consumer decision behaviour, though both hold significance. Flow experience showed significant influence for consumer decision confidence, satisfaction and effort as well as intentions to return and purchase. Ultimately, the study shows that optimising online shopping experience through the careful design of presentation modes may be a fruitful avenue for research and for online vendors.
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