In todays competitive environments, a growing number of firms are establishing their presence through the Web sites. Based on Steuers 1992 and Rheingolds 1993 arguments on perceptual experience in the virtual space, this paper provides a theoretical framework that highlights the effects of interactivity, immersion, and association for customers. The paper argues that though interactivity, immersion, and association are critical for attracting customers on a Web site, these characteristics may also lead to social, ethical and privacy concerns among customers that many unscrupulous firms tend to exploit for their advantages. Interactivity has been measured through speed, range, and significance of interactivity. Immersion has been measured through breadth and depth of immersion. Association has been categorized into onetoone or manytomany relationships. Four Web sites, amazon.com, eBay.com, schwab.com, and victoriasecret.com, are analyzed with respect to interactivity, immersion, and association. The implications of the use and abuse of interactivity, immersion, and association are discussed.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 28, 2005