An Empirical Study of Online Atmospherics and Shopper Responses

Sevgin A. Eroglu, Georgia State University
Karen A. Machleit, University of Cincinnati
Lenita M. Davis, University of Cincinnati
ABSTRACT - This study presents an empirical testing of a model of online atmospherics (Eroglu, Machleit and Davis, 2001). Central to the model is the notion that online retailers, just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, provide a Astore@ atmosphere via their website, which affects shoppers’ image of, experience with and responses to the virtual store. The model, which is based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response framework, proposes a classification of online atmospheric cues, and hypothesizes relationships between these stimuli and shopper responses. This study presents the results of two pretests followed by an experiment to empirically test the model. The results substantiate the theoretical model. We find that increasing the atmospheric qualities of the online store site increases the level of pleasure felt by the shopper which, then, affects attitude toward, satisfaction with and approach/avoidance behaviors with respect to online shopping. Importantly, the findings show that the relationship between site atmospherics and shoppers’ affective and cognitive states is moderated by at least two personality characteristics, namely, involvement and atmospheric responsiveness.
[ to cite ]:
Sevgin A. Eroglu, Karen A. Machleit, and Lenita M. Davis (2001) ,"An Empirical Study of Online Atmospherics and Shopper Responses", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 40

AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF ONLINE ATMOSPHERICS AND SHOPPER RESPONSES

Sevgin A. Eroglu, Georgia State University

Karen A. Machleit, University of Cincinnati

Lenita M. Davis, University of Cincinnati

ABSTRACT -

This study presents an empirical testing of a model of online atmospherics (Eroglu, Machleit and Davis, 2001). Central to the model is the notion that online retailers, just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, provide a "store" atmosphere via their website, which affects shoppers’ image of, experience with and responses to the virtual store. The model, which is based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response framework, proposes a classification of online atmospheric cues, and hypothesizes relationships between these stimuli and shopper responses. This study presents the results of two pretests followed by an experiment to empirically test the model. The results substantiate the theoretical model. We find that increasing the atmospheric qualities of the online store site increases the level of pleasure felt by the shopper which, then, affects attitude toward, satisfaction with and approach/avoidance behaviors with respect to online shopping. Importantly, the findings show that the relationship between site atmospherics and shoppers’ affective and cognitive states is moderated by at least two personality characteristics, namely, involvement and atmospheric responsiveness.

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