Title: To be familiar or to be there? The roles of brand familiarity and social presence on web store image and online purchase intention

Authors: Xiaoping Fan; Feng Liu; Jia Zhang

Addresses: College of Management, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310058, China ' College of Business Administration, California State University- Sacramento, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819, USA ' College of Management, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310058, China

Abstract: This study investigates the roles of both brand familiarity and social presence on web store emotional image improvement and, subsequently, on consumers' online purchase intention. We draw on the SOR paradigm to develop a between-subjects factorial design, conducted with 160 subjects. Results indicate that: 1) social presence affects both web emotional store image and purchase intention, whereas the influences of brand familiarity on these constructs are limited; 2) only entertaining dimension of store image mediates the relationship between social presence and purchase intention. This paper presents theoretical and managerial implications of these findings.

Keywords: brand familiarity; social presence; web store image; online purchase intention; stimulus organism response; SOR; electronic marketing; electronic retailing; web stores; internet shopping; emotional image improvement; consumer purchase intention; online shopping.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2013.052886

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.199 - 221

Available online: 27 Mar 2013

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