Adding Dimension to Content: Immersive Virtual Reality and Presence for e-Commerce [article]

Wanxian Zeng, University, The Australian National
Consumer Virtual Reality (VR) has been in and out of the spotlight for many decades, each time heralded to usher in a new generation of virtual experiences that never eventuated beyond publicity and limited adoption. Two of the more recent attempts made were by e-commerce giants in the e-retailing space, with eBay-Myer VR Department Store and Alibaba VR Buy+ being launched to much fanfare yet followed by quick disappearance from public view and disquieting silence. This sudden rise and fall
more » ... in) in the popularity of VR for e-commerce motivates a critical need to elicit a deeper understanding of its effectiveness for product and service presentation, to promote wiser future investment that leads to tangible outcomes for mainstream consumers. As a discipline, Information Systems has frequently investigated conventional presentation formats (e.g., text, photos, and videos), but few studies address immersive formats that go beyond 2D presentation or simple 3D product models. There is an opportunity to learn from these apparent failures and enable future success. Unlike conventional presentation formats, VR is more capable of enabling "presence", with the feeling of being physically and mentally present in the virtual environment where virtual objects and environment are experienced as actual physical objects and environment. Based on Expectation Confirmation Theory and the Stimulus-Organism-Response Framework, the dissertation explores answers to a central question of how Virtual Reality affects consumers' behaviours by answering the following questions: i) what consumers' expectations of VR as a presentation format are; ii) what differentiates the experiences provided by non-immersive VR and immersive VR; iii) what characteristics of VR, both the technology and the virtual environment, stimulate presence; and iv) how the experience provided by VR influences consumers' intentions and behaviours. This doctoral research contains a series of studies that build upon each other as an exercise in learning from failure t [...]
doi:10.25911/23sy-js78 fatcat:tmr2roz3wzhmvi6yx4cfeza34y