Perception is reality... how digital retail environments influence brand perceptions through presence

Kirsten Cowan, Nathalie Spielmann, E Horn, C. Griffart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

How and when should retailers use 360-virtual reality (VR) versus other media? What role does haptic sensory information play in VR and can consumers actually imagine touch? The aim of this research is to answer these questions by evaluating how presence induced by media (360-VR versus video) leads to heightened attitudes and purchase intentions and how this effect depends on consumer’s knowledge of the product category as well as haptic information. Specifically, 360-VR (versus low presence media) elicits more favorable evaluations (study 1). Yet, in-store, 360-VR results in less favorable responses (study 2). We show that when consumers have high product knowledge, 360-VR decreases consumer responses toward the brand. Alternatively, when consumers have low product knowledge 360-VR enhances consumer responses toward the brand (study 3). Introduction of haptic instructions attenuates the unilateral negative effect of product knowledge (study 4). Importantly, mental imagery underpins these relationships (studies 3 and 4).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-96
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • virtual reality
  • sensory marketing
  • online retailing
  • presence
  • brand evaluations
  • mental imagery


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