The Impact of a Homogenous Versus a Prototypical Web Design on Online Retail Patronage for Multichannel Providers

Emrich, Oliver & Verhoef, Peter (2015): The Impact of a Homogenous Versus a Prototypical Web Design on Online Retail Patronage for Multichannel Providers, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(4), Forthcoming

43 Pages Posted: 26 May 2015

See all articles by Oliver Emrich

Oliver Emrich

Institute of Retail Management

Peter C. Verhoef

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research

Date Written: May 26, 2015

Abstract

For their online shops, multichannel retailers must decide whether to adopt a prototypical design (with channel-specific attributes) or a homogenous design (with cues corresponding to their physical stores). While most retailers use a prototypical design, we propose that the effectiveness of a web design depends on customers’ cognitive shopping orientations (i.e., specific schemas of store-based or web-based experiences) and their situational processing intensity (i.e., the level of cognitive processing). Three experiments reveal that a homogenous design increases online shop patronage among store-oriented customers if processing intensity is high; a prototypical design does not affect patronage among web-oriented customers. To capitalize on a homogenous design, multichannel retailers should activate customers’ cognitive processing, such as with non-competitive pricing or task involvement. If store-based orientation or cognitive processing is low across the customer base, a prototypical design works as well as a homogenous design. Because retailers can induce a store-based orientation through highly visible physical cues in stores, multichannel retailing may evolve to a competition for customers’ mindsets.

Keywords: Multichannel retailing, e-commerce, cognitive schemas, store design, visual cues

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Emrich, Oliver and Verhoef, Peter C., The Impact of a Homogenous Versus a Prototypical Web Design on Online Retail Patronage for Multichannel Providers (May 26, 2015). Emrich, Oliver & Verhoef, Peter (2015): The Impact of a Homogenous Versus a Prototypical Web Design on Online Retail Patronage for Multichannel Providers, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(4), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2610534

Oliver Emrich (Contact Author)

Institute of Retail Management ( email )

Peter C. Verhoef

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research ( email )

Netherlands

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