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Communicating online information via streaming video: the role of user goal

Communicating online information via streaming video: the role of user goal PurposeThe purpose of this paper, building on the media richness theory (MRT), is to propose that while communicating product information via streaming video should enhance outcome measures, such an enhancement will be evident mainly for users with equivocal, latent goals (i.e. recreational browsing) rather than for those with less equivocal, concrete goals (i.e. the search of a specific product).Design/methodology/approachThe experiment involved 337 potential online consumers in Canada, and had full factorial design with four conditions (two methods to communicate product information: textual vs streaming video, and two goals: product searching vs recreational browsing). Analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses.FindingsThe results lent support to the hypotheses. The perceived information quality, trusting competence, and arousal for participants with recreational browsing goals were significantly affected when product information where communicated using streaming video. For participants with concrete goals (product searchers), the traditional textual method was as effective as the streaming video method.Practical implicationsThe findings entice practitioners to use rich media such as the streaming video method to communicate online information predominantly for users with experiential browsing goals, and to use lean media for users with less equivocal, concrete goals.Originality/valueThe results contribute to the sparse literature that underscores the key role of user goal in shaping the effectiveness of online information. The results provide empirical support to the prediction of MRT that the use of rich media to communicate information is advantageous for users with latent, equivocal goals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Online Information Review Emerald Publishing

Communicating online information via streaming video: the role of user goal

Online Information Review , Volume 41 (3): 20 – Jun 12, 2017

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References (77)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1468-4527
DOI
10.1108/OIR-06-2016-0152
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper, building on the media richness theory (MRT), is to propose that while communicating product information via streaming video should enhance outcome measures, such an enhancement will be evident mainly for users with equivocal, latent goals (i.e. recreational browsing) rather than for those with less equivocal, concrete goals (i.e. the search of a specific product).Design/methodology/approachThe experiment involved 337 potential online consumers in Canada, and had full factorial design with four conditions (two methods to communicate product information: textual vs streaming video, and two goals: product searching vs recreational browsing). Analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses.FindingsThe results lent support to the hypotheses. The perceived information quality, trusting competence, and arousal for participants with recreational browsing goals were significantly affected when product information where communicated using streaming video. For participants with concrete goals (product searchers), the traditional textual method was as effective as the streaming video method.Practical implicationsThe findings entice practitioners to use rich media such as the streaming video method to communicate online information predominantly for users with experiential browsing goals, and to use lean media for users with less equivocal, concrete goals.Originality/valueThe results contribute to the sparse literature that underscores the key role of user goal in shaping the effectiveness of online information. The results provide empirical support to the prediction of MRT that the use of rich media to communicate information is advantageous for users with latent, equivocal goals.

Journal

Online Information ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 12, 2017

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