Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the virtual store layout's perceived ease of use effects on consumer behaviour and the perceived differences of two layout patterns most commonly used in air travel web sites (i.e. grid and freeform layout). Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a laboratory experiment from a total of 241 students at a business school. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate the research model and test the research Findings – Results confirm and extend available knowledge regarding virtual store layout effects on shopper responses. However, findings imply that layout pattern affects perceived pleasure and not ease of use in the investigated sector. Additionally, the study confirms the moderating role of atmospheric responsiveness. Practical implications – Managers should consider and apply the optimal level of ease of use at their web stores' virtual layout to facilitate and yet engage consumers during their online trip. Originality/value – In the context of e‐tailing, past research examined store layout effects on consumer behaviour mostly through a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) approach. Elaborating on these research insights, the present research attempt employs an environmental psychology approach measuring the effects of perceived layout on consumer behaviour in the online travel industry through the S‐O‐R paradigm perspective.
Internet Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Virtual work; Online access; Travel; S‐O‐R paradigm
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