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Aesthetics and the online shopping environment: Understanding consumer responses

Yong Jian Wang, Michael S. Minor and Jie Wei

Journal of Retailing, 2011, vol. 87, issue 1, 46-58

Abstract: As the e-tail industry continues to grow with increasing competition witnessed, the study of how to entice and retain online customers has never been as important as at present. Our hierarchical model examines how the two dimensions of web aesthetics, aesthetic formality and aesthetic appeal, influence online consumers’ psychological reactions, including perceived service quality, satisfaction, and arousal, and how these psychological changes, in turn, influence online consumers’ conative tendencies. The results indicate: (1) consumers’ cognitive, affective, and conative outcomes can be significantly evoked by aesthetic stimuli; (2) the two dimensions of web aesthetics exhibit dissimilar patterns of influences; and (3) purchase task significantly moderates consumers’ responses in terms of magnitude and direction. The study provides practical guidelines for properly manipulating the two dimensions of web aesthetics based on consumers’ motivational orientations.

Keywords: e-tail; Web aesthetics; Satisfaction; Online service quality; Online consumer behavior; Environmental psychology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jouret:v:87:y:2011:i:1:p:46-58