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Bringing safety analytics to the online shopper: evaluating designs for augmenting point-of-sale interfaces with safety information

Richard Gruss (Davis College of Business and Economics, Radford University, Radford, Virginia, USA)
David Goldberg (Fowler College of Business, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
Nohel Zaman (Collat School of Business, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Alan Abrahams (Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 10 August 2023




The widespread adoption of online purchasing has prompted increasing concerns about product safety, and regulators are beginning to hold e-commerce sites accountable for dangerous product defects. For online consumers, understanding the many inherent safety risks among the extensive array of products they browse is a formidable task. The authors attempt to address this problem via a client-side software artifact that warns shoppers about potential product safety hazards at the point of sale.


In this study, the authors built four candidate designs and assessed their effectiveness by means of a large randomized controlled experiment (n = 466). The authors define effectiveness as significant changes in dependent variables associated with health behaviors and technology adoption.


The authors find that all of the designs score high on adoption likelihood, that designs incorporating highlighting and scoring are better at increasing safety knowledge and that simpler designs are better at enhancing safety awareness.


These findings will inform the design of safety information dissemination systems and open new areas of safety awareness enhancement research. More generally, the authors introduce a novel method of testing text visualization variations and their impact on behavioral decisions.



Funding: This research was supported by funds from Radford University and San Diego State University.


Gruss, R., Goldberg, D., Zaman, N. and Abrahams, A. (2023), "Bringing safety analytics to the online shopper: evaluating designs for augmenting point-of-sale interfaces with safety information", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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