In the past few years, virtual worlds have become increasingly popular, often hosting, in addition to gaming and social activities, commercial activities that can potentially not just cater for in-world demand but also go beyond the virtual environment's boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of users' simulated experience in a virtual store and to show the subsequent impact of that experience on engagement. The outcome of that engagement was examined in relation to enjoyment and satisfaction, including the role of satisfaction in purchasing the real product. An experimental quantitative approach was followed, testing three models of constructing user experience. Our empirical analysis examined confounding factors of a simulated retail experience and the critical role of that experience, along with hedonic and utilitarian values, in engagement. Engagement and enjoyment were found to influence user satisfaction positively when choosing clothing products and, in turn, user satisfaction was found to influence purchasing intention positively for these products. © 2013 Westburn Publishers Ltd.
Bibliographical noteThe work described in this paper was partially supported by a grant from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China (Project No. A-PL25).
- purchase intention
- user experience
- virtual retail store