“Is It Really Complicated?” Motivational Differences in the Effects of Structural and Outcome Complexity on Consumers' Web Site and Brand Evaluations

Reetika Gupta, Lehigh University, USA
Stephen J. Gould, Baruch College/CUNY, USA
As marketers spend significantly to enhance the aesthetics and sophistication of consumer experiences, they are increasing the complexity of interactive consumption environments (e.g. web sites). However, little is known about how consumers react to such complexity, in terms of their evaluations. In this research, we examine two specific types of complexity: Structural Complexity, defined as the number of distinct cues at the web site that the consumer has to process, and Outcome Complexity, defined as the abstractness of icons and symbols that the consumer uses to navigate the web site. We focus on consumer motivations, to analyze if the two types of complexity will lead to negative or positive outcomes at a web site.
[ to cite ]:
Reetika Gupta and Stephen J. Gould (2007) ,"“Is It Really Complicated?” Motivational Differences in the Effects of Structural and Outcome Complexity on Consumers' Web Site and Brand Evaluations", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 305.