Virtual tours are distinct from videos and other online communication tools in various ways. First, they require consumer-controlled interactions and input (e.g. clicking a mouse), rather than passive viewing. Second, virtual tours offer users a unique perspective – the consumer experiences the product in a quasi-realistic sense. Third, virtual tours may allow for an immersive state, or telepresence. This research examines how in virtual tours, user-driven interaction results in telepresence, leading to augmented attitudes towards the object. Studies 1 and 2 show that the relationship between online virtual tours and attitudes towards the objects are mediated by telepresence with user-driven interactivity as an antecedent. Study 3 finds cognitive load to be a moderator of the sequential mediation. This research provides insights into the process mechanisms that occur in virtual tours, contributing to research on online interactivity and the influence of consumer-driven online interactions on consumer perceptions and behavior.
Spielmann, Nathalie and Antonia Mantonakis. “In virtuo: How user-driven interactivity in virtual tours leads to attitude change” Journal of Business Research 88 (2018): 255-264. Print.
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