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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Touch in Computer-Mediated Environments: An Analysis of Online Shoppers’ Touch-Interface User Experiences

  • Author(s): Chung, Sorim
  • Advisor(s): Kramer, Thomas
  • Wong, Elaine
  • et al.

Over the past few years, one of the most fundamental changes in current computer-mediated environments has been input devices, moving from mouse devices to touch interfaces. However, most studies of online retailing have not considered device environments as retail cues that could influence users’ shopping behavior. In this research, I examine the underlying mechanisms between input device environments and shoppers’ decision-making processes. In particular, I investigate the impact of input devices on online shoppers’ product-information recall, purchase intentions, engagement, product choices, and immediate purchase decisions.

In Essay 1, I propose that touch interfaces result in lower product-information recall than mouse devices because operating a touch interface is more cognitively challenging. As touch interfaces tend to increase user engagement in computer-mediated environments, I predict a positive impact of touch interfaces on purchase intentions. In both cases, I propose shoppers’ involvement as a moderator and shoppers’ engagement as a mediator.

In Essay 2, I predict that the use of touch interfaces in online shopping may resemble the outcomes of affect-driven information processing. Based on the affective-cognitive theories, I propose that cognitive challenges and casual user-experiences of touch interfaces lead shoppers to choose hedonic products and make more immediate purchase decisions than mouse users.

The results of Essay 1 experiments indicated that shoppers who used a touch interface to browse products demonstrated significantly higher engagement in the low-involvement conditions and lower brand-name recall in the high-involvement conditions than shoppers using a mouse did. When highly engaged, touch-interface users displayed stronger purchase intentions toward the products than did mouse users. In Essay 2, touch-interface users were more likely to choose a hedonic product than mouse users, and touch-interface users were less likely to defer their purchase decisions than were mouse users. Overall, this research introduces device environments as new online retail cues that affect online shoppers’ purchase decision-making processes and provides strong evidence that using a touch interface has a significant impact on the shoppers’ engagement, memory, purchase intentions, and product choice.

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