Does online shopping make consumers feel better? Exploring online retail therapy effects on consumers’ attitudes towards online shopping malls

Jihyun Lee (Department of Fashion Marketing, Textile & Fashion Campus of Korea Polytechnic, Daegu, Korea)
Yuri Lee (Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design/Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Publication date: 8 April 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between online retail therapy and consumers’ attitudes towards online fashion shopping malls (ATO) based on the stimulus–organism–response model.


This study examined how online retail therapy factors (e.g. the aesthetics of web design and attractiveness of the models) affect consumers’ ATO. In particular, the authors examined the mediation of positive mood reinforcement (PMR) and negative mood reduction (NMR).


The results indicated that aesthetics has a significant and direct effect on ATO. However, model attractiveness has an indirect effect on ATO through PMR and NMR. In addition, the direct effect of aesthetics on ATO is greater than the indirect effect of model attractiveness. Therefore, online fashion shopping malls need to concentrate on improving the aesthetics of the shopping malls. For fashion shopping malls that do not have the capacity to improve the aesthetics, it is possible to improve ATO by using highly attractive models.


This study applied the concept of retail therapy to the online environment and verified the effect. This study expanded the scope of the study of retail therapy by examining the effect of mood improvement on ATO as well. Further, this study examined the structure of two online retail therapy factors, aesthetics and model attractiveness, that affect ATO through PMR and NMR, and suggested managerial implications for online shopping malls.



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2014S1A5A2A03065756).


Lee, J. and Lee, Y. (2019), "Does online shopping make consumers feel better? Exploring online retail therapy effects on consumers’ attitudes towards online shopping malls", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 464-479.

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