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Factors affecting adoption of product virtualization technology for online consumer electronics shopping

Jiyeon Kim (Department of Retailing, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Sandra Forsythe (Department of Consumer Affairs, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 16 March 2010




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors affecting the adoption of product virtualization technology (PVT) for online shopping small consumer electronics by applying a modified electronic technology acceptance model (e‐TAM) and tested model invariance male/female shoppers in the overall adoption process.


Online surveys are completed by a US national panel of online shoppers. The data are analyzed using single‐ and multiple‐group structural equation modelling.


The results provide empirical support for e‐TAM in the context of PVT acceptance for online small consumer electronics shopping. In addition, two external constructs – technology anxiety (TA) and innovativeness (INN) – show significant influences on the beliefs (perceived usefulness, ease‐of‐use and entertainment value). There is no significant gender difference in the overall adoption process of PVT.

Research limitations/implications

More specific consumer characteristics such as time‐consciousness, opinion leadership or age differences under different categories may be useful to investigate.

Practical implications

PVT may provide a valuable tool that online retailers can use to enhance their consumers' purchase behaviour, either by reducing the perceived risk through better online product evaluation or by enhancing consumers' enjoyment of the shopping process on their web site by increasing the number of unique and repeat traffic visitors to the site and ultimately establish an online competitive advantage.


Inclusion of TA and INN in e‐TAM for PVT acceptance and the equivalence test of the hypothesized model across gender make the research unique, adding to the explanatory and predictive power of the e‐TAM.



Kim, J. and Forsythe, S. (2010), "Factors affecting adoption of product virtualization technology for online consumer electronics shopping", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 190-204.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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