Internet Consumer Behavior: Web Atmospherics

Internet Consumer Behavior: Web Atmospherics

Marie-Odile Richard (University of Montreal, Canada) and Michel Laroche (Concordia University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch063
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Abstract

This chapter develops the major components of web atmospherics (Richard, 2005). In retailing research, retail atmospherics (e.g., scents, color, design) are very important to the success of retailers. Similarly, Richard (2005) demonstrates that web atmospherics are important to the development of positive attitudes toward the website and the products it describes. In Figure 1, these are the shaded areas.
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Introduction

This chapter develops the major components of web atmospherics (Richard, 2005). In retailing research, retail atmospherics (e.g., scents, color, design) are very important to the success of retailers. Similarly, Richard (2005) demonstrates that web atmospherics are important to the development of positive attitudes toward the website and the products it describes. In Figure 1, these are the shaded areas.

Figure 1.

Model of consumer navigation behavior: web atmospherics(Source: Adapted from Richard, M.O. (2009). Modeling the internet behavior of visitors by the study of cognitive variables and moderators, unpublished doctoral dissertation, HEC-Montreal Business School.)

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Background

Web atmospherics are the conscious development of website environment to induce a positive response by visitors. These are critical to the effectiveness of a site since they determine consumer online browsing and purchase behavior. Six variables are part of web atmospherics: navigational characteristics, website structure, website organization, effectiveness of its content, website informativeness, and website entertainment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Effectiveness of information content: currency of the information content of a website and degree that the information is convenient, accurate, up-to-date, complete and relevant.

Structure: the layout of a site such as a tree, a tree with a return-to-home page button, a tree with some horizontal links and an extensive network.

Informativeness: amount and richness of the information contained in a website.

Entertainment: ability to attract attention by being fun, exciting, pleasurable, enjoyable, or entertaining

Web atmospherics: conscious development of website environment to induce a positive response.

Site quality: represented by ease of use, provision of helpful graphics, usefulness of search engines, and completeness of information.

Navigation: the process of self-directed movement through a computer-mediated environment.

Wayfinding: physical maneuvering of a store’s environment (i.e., social, visual and design factors)

Organization: ability of a website to arrange content, information, images, and graphics to increase the clarity of provided information and make it easier to find need information.

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