An Experimental Investigation of the Influence of Virtual Community Characteristics on Consumers’ Evaluations of an Online Store

In this paper we report the findings of an experimental study contributing to the knowledge on consumer behavior in e-commerce. We examine the impact of different characteristics of an integrated virtual community (VC) within an online store on consumers’ evaluations of that store. An online experiment applying a professionally designed shopping website with inte-grated VC was conducted, using a non-forced exposure method. We show that the implementa-tion of a VC in a shopping website and, more specific the exertion of influence by the retailer, the quality and the sociability as key characteristics, highly influence consumers’ perception of the online store.



Citation:

Peter Domma, Hanna Schramm-Klein, and Joachim Zentes (2011) ,"An Experimental Investigation of the Influence of Virtual Community Characteristics on Consumers’ Evaluations of an Online Store", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 426-428.

Authors

Peter Domma, Institute for Commerce & International Marketing, Saarland University
Hanna Schramm-Klein, Chair for Marketing, University of Siegen
Joachim Zentes, Institute for Commerce & International Marketing, Saarland University



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011



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