Retail web site interactivity: How does it influence customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions?

Document Type


Publication Title

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

Publication Date



Purpose – Since web sites are collection of several features, this paper examines web site interactivity – objective and subjective – at the feature level in terms of three underlying dimensions. The purpose of this paper is to understand the distinction between objective and subjective interactivity and to investigate their effects on customer satisfaction, behavioral intention, and telepresence. Design/methodology/approach – An experimental approach is used to study online shopping behavior from two retail web sites created to represent high and low interactivity. Student subjects, recruited from US universities, are given a task to purchase a product/gift certificate within a given budget. Analysis of variance and Lisrel are used to analyze the effects of interactivity. Findings – Empirical results support objective and subjective interactivity as distinct constructs and while both positively impact online shoppers' satisfaction and behavioral intentions, only subjective interactivity influences telepresence. The Lisrel analysis also indicates that telepresence directly affects behavioral intentions and satisfaction does not fully mediate its impact. Research limitations/implications – The direct relationships between objective and subjective interactivity is not examined in this paper and this relationship is likely to be more complex in the external world than can be included in an experimental setting. However, by being able to design each web site feature along the three dimensions of interactivity, it is possible to more effectively demonstrate the impact of objective and subjective interactivity as well as the merits of featurelevel interactivity. Practical implications – If interactivity is viewed only at the overall level, then it is difficult to decide how to build an interactive web site. By employing the underlying theoretical dimensions of interactivity at the feature level, this paper addresses challenges faced in the design of web sites, particularly issues regarding whether and how to make a feature interactive. Originality/value – Despite the growing attention to interactivity, there is limited understanding of its influences and impacts. The distinction between objective and subjective interactivity is able to shed deeper insights into the relationship between interactivity and satisfaction. This is one of the first such studies to investigate the effects of interactivity on telepresence, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions, key outcome measures in online retailing. © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited





First Page


Last Page