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Pizzi and colleagues investigated the implications of experiencing retail environments physically and virtually.  They determined that “Whereas previous research demonstrated the importance of consumers' hedonic [pleasure-related] and utilitarian shopping orientations in traditional channels, this study examines the potential of a VR store to elicit hedonism and utilitarianism. . . . . Participants were exposed to the same shelf in a VR-based and a physical store. We found . . . VR elicits both utilitarianism and hedonism. . . . behaviors in the VR-based and physical stores compare quite well.”

Gabriele Pizzi, Daniele Scarpi,  Marco Pichierri, and Virginia Vannucci.  2019.  “Virtual Reality, Real Reactions?: Comparing Consumers’ Perceptions and Shopping Orientation Across Physical and Virtual-Reality Retail Stores.”  Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 96, pp. 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.02.008

Usrey and colleagues investigated how being described as environmental responsible influences perceptions of product effectiveness.  Their work focuses on “the performance liability associated with green products, in which consumers perceive them as being less effective. This research examines the concept of ‘green understatement’ (i.e., communication of implicit green signals [not emphasizing green product attributes]) compared with ‘green emphasis’ (i.e., communication of explicit green signals [emphasizing green attributes]) in green product advertising as a strategy to enhance performance evaluations. . . . We suggest and show that implicit green signals are more effective in conditions under which consumers have more concerns about the product’s performance or have lower expectations about its greenness. More specifically, the results of two experimental studies show that implicit (versus explicit) communication about greenness leads to higher performance evaluations for products that are less commonly green . . . and for products that have an optional green mode.”

Bryan Usrey, Dayananda Palihawadana, Charalampos Saridakis and Aristeidis Theotokis.”How Downplaying Product Greenness Affects Performance Evaluations:  Examining the Effects of Implicit and Explicit Green Signals in Advertising.”  Journal of Advertising, in press, https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2020.1712274

Verhagen and teammates studied links between consumer in-store experiences and those they have online.  The investigators determined that “consumer evaluations of a firm’s online store have been found to be influenced by consumer interactions with the firm’s in‐store personnel. . . . we propose hypotheses and accordingly model in‐store personnel’s competence and friendliness as determinants of online store usefulness, online store enjoyment, and online store value. Using consumer data collected from two Dutch multichannel retailers, we test this model. . . . The results provide clear support for the model and confirm that consumers may use characteristics of in‐store personnel as analogies when evaluating a firm’s online store.” Additional links between other aspects of in-store and online experiences seem probable.

Tibert Verhagen, Willemijn van Dolen, and Jani Merikivi.  2019. “The Influence of In-Store Personnel on Online Store Value:  An Analogical Transfer Perspective.”  Psychology and Marketing, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 161-174, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21172

Coskun, Gupta, and Burpaz studied how in-store crowds and store neatness influence shoppers’ behaviors.  They report that   “each participant in one of the four conditions was shown visuals of a store. . . . in the low crowded conditions, two people were visible in the visuals but in the high crowded condition, 14 people were visible. In the low messy condition, merchandise was organized well on the displays and racks, but in the high messy condition, merchandise was scattered. . . .  Retailers may suffer from shoppers' avoidance intentions based on a complex store environment due to human crowding and merchandise messiness. . . . consumers are more likely to be irritated and inefficient when stores are highly crowded and messy. . .  consumers pursuing recreational shopping motivations are more likely to exhibit negative effects from retail shopper confusion on in-store exploration and time spent if the stores are crowded and messy.”  So, consumers are likely to try to avoid crowded messy stores and they are more likely to be irritated, inefficient shoppers when they’re in them.

Merve Coskun, Shipra Gupta, and Sebnem Burpaz.  2019.  “Human Crowding and Store Messiness:  Drivers of Retail Shopper Confusion and Behavioral Intentions.”  Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 313-331, https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1772

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