Consumers' Optimal Experience on Commercial Web Sites: A Congruency Effect of Web Atmospheric Design and Consumers' Surfing Goal

Consumers' Optimal Experience on Commercial Web Sites: A Congruency Effect of Web Atmospheric Design and Consumers' Surfing Goal

Fang Wan (University of Manitoba, Canada), Ning Nan (University of Oklahoma, USA) and Malcolm Smith (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-813-0.ch006
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Abstract

Though marketers are aware that online marketing strategies are crucial to attract visitors to Web sites and make the Web site sticky (Hoffman et al., 1995; Morr, 1997; Schwartz, 1996; Tchong, 1998), little is known about the factors that can bring out such a compelling online experience. This chapter examines how specific Web atmospheric features such as dynamic navigation design, together with Web users’ surfing goals, can lead to an optimal online experience. In addition, the chapter also examines the consequences of an optimal surfing experience on consumers’ attitudes toward commercial Web sites/brands (promoted on these sites) and purchase intentions. In this chapter, we review related research on online consumer experience, identify two key antecedents of the optimal online experience, report an experiment testing the effects of these antecedents and provide insights for future research.
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Background

As companies are fighting the battle of customer acquisition via both their online and off-line channels, they have invested heavily on their Web sites to retain the attention of Web surfers who just visit their company Web site, and transform them into potential customers who would purchase either from their Web site or from their physical store (Hoffman & Novak, 2000). Though marketers are aware that online marketing strategies are crucial to attract visitors to Web sites and make the Web site sticky (Hoffman et al., 1995; Morr, 1997; Schwartz, 1996; Tchong, 1998), little is known about the factors that can bring out such a compelling online experience. This chapter examines how specific Web atmospheric features such as dynamic navigation design, together with Web users’ surfing goals, can lead to an optimal online experience. In addition, the chapter also examines the consequences of an optimal surfing experience on consumers’ attitudes toward commercial Web sites/brands (promoted on these sites) and purchase intentions.

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