With increasing importance of online stores, a great number of studies have focused on extending our knowledge related to successful functional aspects increasing ease of use and usefulness. More recent studies have focused on identifying the effects produced by hedonic aspects of online store environment such as web atmospherics on emotional responses of customers. However, previous studies have been somewhat deficient in their investigation of studying diverse aspects of online consumer characteristics, which may have an impact on customer evaluation of atmospheric cues. Building on this research tradition, the present study addresses two critical issues. The present study adopting a well validated S–O–R framework tests the effect of atmospheric cues of online stores on the intervening affective emotional states of consumers, which have a subsequent impact on behavioral intention. Additionally, the model hypothesizes that perceptual curiosity (PC) moderates the relationships between atmospheric cues and shoppers’ emotional reactions. Structure equation model confirmed that online atmospherics such as graphics, colors, and links have an impact on customer emotions such as pleasure and arousal, both of which have subsequent effects on intention. The moderating effect of perceptual curiosity has also been supported. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed in conclusion.
Computers in Human Behavior – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2010
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