Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)

Department

Computing

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Computing

First Advisor

Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy

Second Advisor

Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan

Third Advisor

Dr. Lakshmi C. Goel

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Haiyan Huang

College Dean

Dr. Mark Tumeo

Abstract

Internet has come afar, from connecting computers to connecting people. Since its early days, the use of Internet has evolved tremendously. People use the Internet today in a variety of different ways, including communicating with friends, family, co-workers and performing activities like paying bills and shopping. With the increase in electronic retailing (e-Tailing), attracting and retaining customers has become the most important part of running a successful business. However, the online shopping experience may be viewed as lacking human warmth and sociability as it is more impersonal, anonymous, automated and generally devoid of face-to face interactions. Thus, understanding how to create electronic loyalty (e-Loyalty) by retaining existing customers in online environments is a complex process. To maintain e-Loyalty, e-Tailing sites should provide customized user experience. Men and women have been known to have different perception of online shopping. Women tend to be less satisfied because of lack of human connection in online shopping environment. To date, how social presence (interpreting human warmth and human presence electronically) affects e-Loyalty and adoption of e-Tailing across genders has been relatively underexplored. A research on influence of gender towards social presence features in e-Tailing websites could contribute to our understanding of gender preferences in online environments, allowing researchers to predict and measure differences among user interfaces, and guide the design of customized interfaces customized for gender sensitive e-Tailing websites.

In this research, we developed a research model based on extensive literature review. We developed a survey instrument to measure predictability of the model and used t-tests, principal component analysis and linear and multiple regression analysis to analyze and validate the model. We conducted an extensive survey of social presence and user experience design features, and synthesized survey response with the above methodologies using SPSS. The study revealed social presence and user experience factors that positively affect gender experience in development of e-Loyalty. Based on the analysis of survey responses, we conclude that gender plays an important role in determining the state of social presence and user experience for e-Tailing websites to create e-Loyalty among customers.

Included in

E-Commerce Commons

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