Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine a comprehensive model explaining how web site design influences consumer's emotional and cognitive responses and contributes to satisfaction and word‐of‐mouth (WOM) communication in an online shopping context. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 804 female college students completed an online survey after browsing one of two mock web sites developed to manipulate web site design quality. Findings – Web site design quality showed positive direct effects on pleasure, arousal, and perceived information quality and indirect effects on satisfaction and WOM intention. Pleasant shopping experience increased positive perceptions and satisfaction. The results also showed that satisfaction mediated the relationship between emotional and cognitive responses and positive WOM intention. Research limitations/implications – Although an online survey was used to increase the reality of an online shopping experience, uncontrolled conditions may have influenced the results of the study. Further research needs to be conducted in a laboratory setting to control these factors. Originality/value – The paper theoretically extends the applicability of the stimulus‐organism‐response paradigm to satisfaction and electronic WOM intention research and fills the gap in the current online shopping literature. The paper also offers valuable information to online retailers to maximize consumer satisfaction and generate positive WOM using web site design.
Journal of Service Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 9, 2012
Keywords: Internet; Web sites; Consumer behaviour; Women; Electronic commerce; Word of mouth; eWOM; Web site design; Emotions; Customer satisfaction
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