Title: Exploring consumers| flow experiences in virtual shopping: an exploratory study

Authors: Seung-Eun Lee; Tanya Domina; Maureen MacGillivray

Addresses: Apparel Merchandising and Design, Central Michigan University, 215 Wightman, 48859 Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA. ' Apparel Merchandising and Design, Central Michigan University, 215 Wightman, 48859 Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA. ' Apparel Merchandising and Design, Central Michigan University, 215 Wightman, 48859 Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to use flow theory to characterise consumers| experiences of visiting stores in the virtual world for the first time and to examine their intentions to use a virtual world for shopping. 119 Midwest US apparel merchandising university students responded to a survey after completing a course assignment introducing them to Second Life and shopping in a virtual world. A hypothesised model consisting of exogenous constructs of web skills and perceived challenges and endogenous constructs of perceived control, concentration, enjoyment, telepresence and shopping intention, guided the analysis. Results revealed that perceived control and enjoyment are significantly stronger than the other model constructs and that web skills and perceived challenge are critical elements influencing the intention to shop in Second Life. Perceived concentration and telepresence did not have significant effects on shopping intentions nor did web skills positively influence perceived telepresence in Second Life.

Keywords: perceived challenges; flow theory; metaverse; perceived enjoyment; perceived control; concentration; shopping intentions; telepresence; virtual shopping; virtual worlds; web skills; online shopping; virtual stores; Second Life.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2011.043046

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2011 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.165 - 182

Available online: 12 Oct 2011

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