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Investigating affordances of virtual worlds for real world B2C e-commerce

Tran, Minh; Minocha, Shailey; Roberts, Dave; Laing, Angus and Langdridge, Darren (2011). Investigating affordances of virtual worlds for real world B2C e-commerce. In: 25th BCS Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 4 July 2011, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

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Virtual worlds are three-dimensional (3D) online persistent multi-user environments where users interact through avatars. The literature suggests that virtual worlds can facilitate real world business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. However, few real world businesses have adopted virtual worlds for B2C e-commerce. In this paper, we present results from interviews with consumers in a virtual world to investigate how virtual worlds can support B2C e-commerce. A thematic analysis of the data was conducted to uncover affordances and constraints of virtual worlds for B2C e-commerce. Two affordances (habitability and appearance of realness) and one constraint (demand for specialised skill) were uncovered. The implications of this research for designers are (1) to provide options to consumers that enable them to manage their online reputation, (2) to focus on managing consumers’ expectations and (3) to facilitate learning between consumers.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 The Authors
Keywords: consumer experience; e-commerce; interaction design; qualitative research; virtual worlds
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Open University Business School
Social Sciences > Psychology in the Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 29433
Depositing User: Minh Tran
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2011 09:11
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2012 08:20
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