Giving an "E-Human Touch" to E-Retailing: an Examination of the Effectiveness of Virtual Salespeople

EXTENDED ABSTRACT - An Ernst & Young study of 1363 households on barriers to Internet-buying found that the need to talk to a salesperson and inadequacy of product information were among the most important reasons for not buying online. Companies are increasingly addressing these issues with innovative uses of technology. One such innovation is utilizing artificial intelligence software called chatbots or Avirtual salespeople@. The use of a virtual salesperson (VS) has two purposesBgiving a human touch to the online store and providing additional information to the consumer in real-time. This study examines the effect of using a VS on consumers’ attitude toward the web site and product, and on their purchase intentions.


Subramanian Sivaramakrishnan and Zaiyong Tang (2002) ,"Giving an "E-Human Touch" to E-Retailing: an Examination of the Effectiveness of Virtual Salespeople", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 29, eds. Susan M. Broniarczyk and Kent Nakamoto, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 492-493.


Subramanian Sivaramakrishnan, University of Manitoba
Zaiyong Tang, Louisiana Tech University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 29 | 2002

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