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The effect of perceptual fluency on online shoppers' aesthetic evaluation, satisfaction, and behavioral intent

by Im, Hyunjoo

Abstract (Summary)
Visual information presentation is extremely important in online shopping context because consumers depend on visual information presented on the web in making purchase decision. It has been found that poor visual information presentation could make consumers frustrated and confused, which eventually could prevent consumers from shopping online and, Therefore, it is imperative that e-tailers improve the visual information presentation based on the understanding of visual information processing of consumers to benefit both consumers and themselves. A content analysis (Pretest I) examined the current status of online apparel stores in utilizing perceptual fluency in the websites revealed that not many online stores understood and used perceptually fluent information presentation. The current study is an attempt to provide a way to improve visual information presentation on websites to facilitate consumers’ information processing. The perceptual fluency framework guided the development of hypotheses and the model of the study but the current study extended the framework to examine the perceptual fluency effect on satisfaction and behavioral intention. The proposed model and hypotheses were examined in an online apparel store context. The perceptual fluency effect was examined by an online experiment with a mock website. 2,000 undergraduate students participated in the online experiment. The online experiment results showed that visual clarity of a website positively influences aesthetic evaluation of website and products. The effect was stronger in the category page than in the product information page. Furthermore, the effect remained at deeper levels of processing such as satisfaction, purchase intention, and repatronage intention. The perceptual fluency effect diminished at the later stage of cognitive processing. Contradicting the prediction, there was no moderating effect of time pressure and involvement on the relationship between perceptual fluency and aesthetic evaluation. The results provide knowledge about how visual clarity affects aesthetic evaluation of the target object, and also, how visual clarity affects satisfaction and behavioral intention both directly and indirectly through aesthetic evaluation. Practical and theoretical implication was discussed.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:perceptual fluency consumer behavior aesthetic evaluation apparel shopping online

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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