Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate online shoppers' adoption of visual sensory enabling technologies, showing that these sensory experience enablers provide a dual role in enhancing online apparel shopping by reducing perceived product risk, and increasing the entertainment value of the online shopping process. Design/methodology/approach – The researchers conducted a focus group interview and pre‐test with a college student sample and a main test with a US national sample of online shoppers. The data were analyzed using single‐ and multiple‐group structural equation modeling. Findings – The findings provide empirical support for perceived usefulness and perceived entertainment value as strong predictors of consumers' attitudes towards using all three of the sensory enabling technologies (SETs) – 2D larger view and alternative views, 3D rotation views, and virtual try‐on. The impact of perceived ease‐of‐use was significant only for 3D rotation views, suggesting that the impact of perceived ease‐of‐use differs by technology. Attitudes towards using sensory enabling technologies had a significant impact on the actual use of all three SETs; however, the impact of technology anxiety and innovativeness on the use of SETs also differed by technology. Originality/value – The results provide empirical validation of the proposed SE‐TAM model. Based on the current findings, SETs may provide a valuable tool that online apparel retailers can use to increase online purchases, either by reducing the perceived risk through better online product evaluation, or by enhancing consumers' enjoyment of the shopping process on their web site.
European Journal of Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 18, 2009
Keywords: Electronic commerce; Consumer behaviour; Mathematical modelling; Retailing
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