by Nicole Glassman
As Winnie wrote, interactivity in everything will soon become the norm in society. From entertainment to education to shopping, interactivity is becoming part of our lives. Kevin quotes Luis O. Arata, who suggests that our society is moving towards a culture of stimulation. This applies to the online consumer industry as well. Examples of website interactivity that can cater to the needs and enjoyment of online customer are: 3D virtual tours, rotating 3D images, real time image manipulation, product zoom in/out, virtual models, virtual shopping assistances, intuitive search engines, interactive shopping carts. It also can give such interactive features as product search and review options, clear site navigation and layout, product comparison with other stores, user ratings and reviews, single click checkout options and product tracking options.
The high level of interactivity in online shopping stimulates consumers’ perceptions and persuades them to purchase an item or service, or modify and even change original purchase decisions. By providing attractive and enhanced interactive futures and controls, consumers are given a positive outlook on a product and trust in the website. It also can give them a sense of enjoyment and escapism. As Monica pointed out, the “cause and effect” relationship plays a significant role in interactivity. We like a product, press the button, and complete a transaction on a spur of a moment without holding money in our hands.
Kathryn indicates that, in education, there are both positive and negative effects of high interaction. Pictures and websites can influence children to beleive that because they are in control of interaction what they see is in fact true. The same applies to consumers, the product or service may appear better or more user friendly on the website than in real life.
I purchased a few products on websites and was disappointed when I actually started to use them. However, I know many people who are happy with their purchases. When dealing with interactive technology, we need to make sure that simulation does not deceive our sense of logic and hinder our ability to critically review information.
Islam, Hafizul, “Effects of Website Interactivity on Online Retail Shopping Behavior” 2009.