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The effect of online store atmosphere on consumer's emotional responses - an experimental study of music and colour

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The current study is a convergence of two research orientations: the effect of ambient factors (e.g. music and colour) in physical stores and the website design in cyber context. The former emphasises the influence of sensory stimuli on the shoppers' responses; whereas the latter address the relationship between website design factors (e.g. usability) and the performance of a virtual store. This article aims to bridge the gap between the above research orientations and explores the impact of two environmental elements - music and colour - of an online store on the consumers' emotions - considered as direct antecedents to shopping behaviours - by employing a laboratory experiment. The results indicated that both music and colour reveal significant effects on respondents' emotional responses. To be more specific, participants felt more aroused and pleasant when they were under fast music and warm colour conditions than those who were exposed to an environment with slow music and cool colour. In addition, the congruency of these two atmospheric factors enhances the effects of atmosphere on people's emotional responses.

Keywords: atmosphere; emotional response; internet shopping; laboratory experiment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Information Management, Southern Taiwan University of Technology, Yung-Kang, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China 2: Department of Electronic Commerce, WuFeng Institute of Technology, Ming-Hsiung, Chia-yi, Taiwan, Republic of China 3: Department of Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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