Exploring the effects of a non-interactive talking avatar on social presence, credibility, trust, and patronage intention in an e-commerce website


Liew, Tze Wei and Tan, Su-Mae and Ismail, Hishamuddin (2017) Exploring the effects of a non-interactive talking avatar on social presence, credibility, trust, and patronage intention in an e-commerce website. Human-centric Computing and Information Sciences, 7. pp. 1-21. ISSN 2192-1962

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While prior research has examined the effects of interactive e-commerce avatars that simulate the roles of virtual assistants and recommender agents, there is lack of empirical study that investigates the effects of non-interactive talking avatars in e-commerce. This is unfortunate, as many websites today utilize non-interactive talking avatars that provide one-way dialogue in the forms of greetings, introduction of the company, and description of products and services offered. To bridge this gap, our study aims to investigate the effects of non-interactive talking avatar on perceptions of social presence, credibility, website trust, and patronage intention in an online store. Comparing between the experimental (website with avatar) and control (website without avatar) conditions, the experimental results showed that perceived social presence was significantly enhanced by the presence of the non-interactive talking avatar. Furthermore, the presence of the avatar had positive effects on website trust and patronage intention among male participants; but had negative effects on perceptions of information credibility and website patronage intention among females. Analysis based on participants’ comments suggests that females were more critical towards certain shortcomings of the non-interactive talking avatar; citing limited interactivity and artificial dialogue from text-to-speech engine. Additionally, the comment analysis suggests that females preferred processing textual over auditory information (as spoken by the avatar) about the products in the online store. Theoretical and managerial implications related to non-interactive talking avatars are discussed in this paper.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Talking avatar, Interactivity, Social presence, Information credibility, Website trusts, Patronage intention, Gender, E-commerce, Interactive computer systems
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA71-90 Instruments and machines > QA75.5-76.95 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA76.75-76.765 Computer software
Divisions: Faculty of Business (FOB)
Depositing User: Ms Suzilawati Abu Samah
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2020 04:16
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 04:16
URII: http://shdl.mmu.edu.my/id/eprint/6991


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