Shopping in a Virtual World: An Analysis of Young Users’ Experiences

By Seung-Eun Lee and Tanya Domina.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to analyze how user experiences with their avatar impact on intention to shop in Second Life (SL) and 2) to identify particular user motivations that influence their intention to shop in SL. 119 Midwest USA college students responded to a survey after completing a course assignment introducing them to SL and shopping in a virtual world. The results indicated that users’ satisfaction with the look of their avatar had a significant impact on their intention to shop in SL, but it was not important that their avatar was similar to their actual look. When shopping in SL, it was more likely that users would buy products for their avatar that were significantly different than similar products purchased for themselves in the real world. While users reported various motivations for using SL, the highest motivation that influenced their intention to shop in SL was to play and interact with other online community members. Implications were addressed for retailers who operate in a virtual world environment.

Keywords: Avatar, Intention, Motivation, Second Life, Virtual World.

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.13-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 559.387KB).

Dr. Seung-Eun Lee

Associate Professor of Apparel Merchandising and Design, Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, USA

Dr. Seung-Eun Lee is a professor at Central Michigan University, USA. Her research centers on apparel merchandising and retail technology. She received both Master and Ph.D degrees from Iowa State University.

Tanya Domina

Professor, Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, USA

Tanya Domina is a professor of Apparel Merchandising & Design at Central Michigan University. Her research focuses on applications of body scanning and thermal imaging technologies.


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