EWHA's Research Power for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
February, 2021
EWHA's Research Power for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences


Effects of perceived interactivity of augmented reality on consumer responses: A mental imagery perspective


By Prof. Minjung Park (minjungpark@ewha.ac.kr)
Department of Fashion Industry

Prof. Minjung Park’s recent publication, “Effects of perceived interactivity of augmented reality on consumer responses: A mental imagery perspective” published in Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, is a study focuses on examining dimensions of perceived interactivity after experiencing shopping with AR and investigating the relationships between perceived interactivity and mental imagery and between mental imagery and other consumer responses in a mobile shopping context.

As the use of technological features is becoming more common in digital retailing, retailers have adopted augmented reality (AR) solutions to help consumers browse their products. AR is “a technology which allows computer generated virtual imagery to exactly overlay physical objects in real time” (Zhou et al., 2008, p. 193). AR helps users to interact with virtual camera views created using actual objects (Zhou et al., 2008). Interactivity has been known to influence consumer shopping behaviors positively. Many researchers have suggested that digital retailers should consider including interactive features in their shopping sites to provide consumers with desirable shopping experiences (e.g., Fiore et al., 2005; Kiss and Esch, 2006). However, some researchers claimed that adding interactivity to shopping websites hinders retailers from controlling users' experiences and communications (e.g., Bezjian-Avery et al., 1998). Therefore, examining the effectiveness of interactivity will provide useful insights to retailers attempting to enhance profitability. By assessing the perceived interactivity derived from AR technology, the current study seeks to provide insights into the effects of interactivity on mobile shopping behaviors through mental imagery. In addition, this study seeks to identity how individual characteristics, such as product involvement, influence the way consumers respond to AR technology.

This study conducted an online survey. An invitation letter was emailed to potential female participants who had previous experiences in mobile shopping. Participants were asked to download a mobile app on their smartphone devices. They were instructed to visit the app and apply several products using the AR function while imagining they had actually purchased it and to answer a questionnaire. Finally, the total of 312 female online shoppers completed the questionnaire.

This study found that the controllability and playfulness dimensions of perceived interactivity influence mental imagery, which, in turn, affects consumers' attitudes toward a product and their behavioral intentions. The relationship between perceived interactivity and mental imagery differs based on an individual's involvement level. The findings of this study offer valuable practical and theoretical insights that enable both scholars and retailers to learn how consumers' perceived interactivity affects mental imagery, which, in turn, influences behavioral intentions. First, most previous research on interactivity did not examine the mental imagery process and overlooked the relationship between these two concepts. Much research on mental imagery has been conducted in advertising, and a few researchers have begun to pay attention to the effects of mental imagery in the context of online retailing. The current study seeks to merge these distinct two concepts; extend current literature regarding users’ experience of mental imagery in digital retailing, especially derived from the interactive characteristics of AR technology; and finally understand the role of internal processes in consumer purchasing behaviors. Second, previous studies investigating the effects of interactivity on mental imagery did not identify the dimensions of perceived interactivity, although the concept of interactivity is broad and complex. The current study focused on perceived interactivity derived from the use of AR technology for mobile shopping as well as specified the dimensions of controllability, responsiveness, and playfulness to test their effects on mental imagery.

The findings help us understand the importance of mental imagery by providing empirical evidence that elaboration of vivid mental imagery increases the positive attitude toward a product, which, in turn, positively influences behavioral intention. Interactive AR functions may have greater impacts on consumers' shopping outcomes, especially in the virtual environment. Digital retailers need to develop their mobile websites or apps with the inclusion of interactivity features, such as AR, to increase consumers’ positive attitudes toward their products and influence their behavioral intentions, such as willingness to purchase the product, willingness to revisit the mobile app, and willingness to recommend the product or mobile app to others.


* Related Article
Minjung Park, Jungmin Yoo, Effects of perceived interactivity of augmented reality on consumer responses: A mental imagery perspective, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 52 (2020) 101912

* References
Bezjian-Avery, A., Calder, B., Iacobucci, D., 1998. New media interactive advertising vs. traditional advertising. J. Advert. Res. 38 (4), 23–32.

Fiore, A.M., Jin, H.-J., Kim, J., 2005. For fun and profit: hedonic value from image interactivity and responses toward an online store. Psychol. Mark. 22 (8), 669–694.

Kiss, G., Esch, F.R., 2006. Effects of interactive and imagery-strong websites. In: Diehl, S., Terlutter R, R. (Eds.), International Advertising and Communication. Deutscher Universitats-Verlag, pp. 361–377.

Zhou, F., Duh, H.B.L., Billinghurst, M., 2008. Trends in augmented reality tracking, interaction and display: a review of ten years of ISMAR. In: Proceedings of the 7th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. IEEE Computer Society, pp. 193–202.

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