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The effect of product aesthetics information on website appeal in online shopping

Xianghui Peng (Department of Management, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, USA)
Daniel Peak (Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Victor Prybutok (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Chenyan Xu (Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, USA)

Nankai Business Review International

ISSN: 2040-8749

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




This research posits that e-vendors can use product aesthetic information (PAI) as a strategic positing tool to shape consumers’ perceptions of e-vendors’ websites.


To test this framework, variations on a garment’s color (a crucial element of product aesthetics) are presented to four different treatment groups to determine whether aesthetic treatment influences the perception of the website.


The results suggest that consumers who consider a product visually appealing also perceive the e-vendor’s website as useful, resulting in enjoyment of the shopping experience. Positive perceptions lead consumers to form positive attitudes toward the vendor’s website.


While product aesthetics is well-studied in marketing and psychology, its relevance to the e-commerce domain is relatively underexplored. To fill the void, the paper proposes a theoretical framework that explains how PAI influences buyers’ cognitive and affective evaluations of their online shopping experiences, which in turn shapes their attitudes toward e-vendors’ sites.



Peng, X., Peak, D., Prybutok, V. and Xu, C. (2017), "The effect of product aesthetics information on website appeal in online shopping", Nankai Business Review International, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 190-209.



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