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What is Virtual Salesperson

Handbook of Research on Digital Media and Advertising: User Generated Content Consumption
Virtual salesperson is an employee avatar of the virtual store that helps virtual shoppers by providing product information and recommending products. These virtual salespersons are controlled by a real human being.
Published in Chapter:
Does Second Life Mark the Beginning of a New Era of Online Shopping?: Exploring the Avatar-Based Shopping Experience in Virtual Worlds
Jang Ho Moon (University of Texas at Austin, USA), Yongjun Sung (University of Texas at Austin, USA), and S. Marina Choi (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-792-8.ch012
In this chapter, the authors explore the unique social dimension of shopping in virtual worlds, namely Second Life, by examining the role of avatar-based interactions in determining consumer shopping experience. To this end, an overview of Second Life, and other similar virtual worlds, is provided. This chapter then introduces the concept of social presence and offers a conceptual discussion of how avatar-based shopping in virtual environments is distinctive from shopping in other Web environments. Next, the authors present the preliminary findings of the ongoing research study investigating how consumers’ interactions with salespersons and peer consumers via avatars influence their shopping experience in Second Life. This chapter concludes with a future prospect of virtual worlds and directions for future research.
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