To immerse or not? Experimenting with two virtual retail environments

Savvas PAPAGIANNIDIS, Eleonora PANTANO, Wing Kuen, Eric SEE-TO, Charles DENNIS, Michael BOURLAKIS

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: 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 is examined in relation to enjoyment, satisfaction and purchase intentions.

Design/methodology/approach: The method comprised an experiment comparing users’ perceptions of a standard 2D online clothing store with an enhanced, immersive one that aimed to provide shopping value approaching that of a traditional store by using a 3D experience where participants wore special glasses and a data glove.

Findings: Results demonstrate the major role of telepresence components in simulated experience and the critical role of that experience, along with hedonic and utilitarian values, in engagement. Purchase intention is influenced by satisfaction, which is in turn influenced by enjoyment and engagement. Engagement in turn is influenced by utilitarian and hedonic value and the experience of product simulation or telepresence, which is composed of control, colour and graphics vividness, and 3D authenticity. In the immersive, 3D environment, experience is more associated with engagement and enjoyment, leading to greater purchase intention. The immersive, 3D environment, thus, has the potential to rival traditional shopping in terms of experience, resulting in higher sales for retailers and satisfaction for consumers.

Originality/value: This work has evaluated a robust model of purchase intention and demonstrated it to hold not only in a 3D environment on a conventional computer platform, but also in an immersive one, where participants wear special glasses and a data glove.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-188
Number of pages26
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • E-commerce (B2B/B2C/B2G/G2C)
  • Online shopping
  • Simulation
  • Virtual world


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