Putting Yourself in the Picture: An Evaluation of Virtual Model Technology as an Online Shopping Tool

Stephen P. Smith, Robert B. Johnston, Steve Howard
<span title="">2011</span> <i title="Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/xizcxbcgljavtpkmqtalzqfcde" style="color: black;">Information systems research</a> </i> &nbsp;
The electronic gulf between shoppers and products makes evaluating a physical product on offer at an e-store a potentially problematic activity. We propose that the outcome of the product evaluation task is determined by the fit between the type of information provided and the type of information sought by the consumer, and that this, in turn, influences a consumer's attitude towards an e-store. An experiment to compare the impact of one type of advanced evaluation support technology, the
more &raquo; ... l model (VM), with a more basic online catalog, is then described. Results indicate that VMs are potentially valuable when a customer is concerned with self-image, and considerably less valuable when concerned with functionality. In more general terms, variation in end-user attitudes toward the object of the task (evaluative attitude) influenced how informed consumers felt about a product when using different technologies. Feeling informed, in turn, had a strong effect on consumer attitudes towards the store. Our results highlight two important issues for online stores: (1) a consumer's information requirements depend on the consumer's attitude to a product rather than product attributes; and (2) meeting these information requirements affects perceptions of the store. Business success in this context therefore appears to hinge on addressing the specific functional and image-related information needs of customers rather than simply providing more interactivity or technical functionality.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1090.0279">doi:10.1287/isre.1090.0279</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/fjogp3k5wretbd4lxx2rvw7q74">fatcat:fjogp3k5wretbd4lxx2rvw7q74</a> </span>
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