Designing on-line experience through consideration of the salient sensory attributes of products
This thesis considers the propositon that the on-line shopping experience for food can approximate to physical shopping. It places emphasis on the product sensory evaluation activity carried out by shoppers and considers how to translate it onto the World Wide Web. The thesis reviews the consumer behaviour literature and then presents two user studies in the form of focus groups and and on-line study. In addition, an informal analysis of contemporary practices of providing sensory product information on-line of a snapshot of web-site retailers, is reported. Guidelines for fresh food retailers web-site design are then formulated through the use of an Activity Theory framework. The thesis concludes that it is beneficial to view food shopping as an activity where a shopper in a given context has goals to fulfill through the use of the senses and previous experiences. Findings suggest that scope and objectivity of sensory product attributes information, impacts significantly on the on-line shopper sensory experience.
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