Online fashion shopping experiences, web atmospherics and consumer's emotions

  • Fatema Kawaf

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The notion of 'experience' marks a shift in consumer research from focusing on the rational consumer to focusing on emotions (Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982). This research studies consumer experiences in the specific context of online fashion shopping. It contributes to the field of atmospherics and consumption emotions and experiences, thus bridging a gap that has been highlighted in the literature (e.g. Turley & Milliman, 2000). This thesis aims to study the online fashion-shopping experience as the consumer lives and constructs it. The research conducted two studies that are underpinned by the philosophical stance of pragmatism. First, Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory (PCT) is adopted to gain an in-depth understanding of consumers' shopping experience using their own words and construction. The study conducted 25 repertory grid interviews, analysed first with Jankowicz's (2005) method of initial eyeball and process analyses. Next, following Lemke, Clark, and Wilson (2011), qualitative construct coding was performed by multi-coders for inter-reliability checks. This study contributes to our understanding of the online fashion-shopping experience by (1) introducing the construction of the experience as emotional, perceptual, situational and behavioural, (2) highlighting how individuality in such experiences often changes the meaning of such constructs, and (3) arguing that situational constructs provide a context that shapes the whole experience. Second, screencast videography is introduced as a novel method that captures the shoppers' live experiences. Critical incident analysis of ten videos allowed the experience journey to be mapped, highlighting the main critical incidents and the contexts (e.g. purposeful vs. purposeless browsing) that shape the experience. In addition to its methodological contribution, this study provides great insights into an otherwise unobservable phenomenon. Furthermore, it presents the 'fashionscape' as a concept tailored especially to understanding the online fashion-shopping environment in its visual, verbal, social and educational dimensions.
Date of Award2 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorStephen Tagg (Supervisor) & Beverly Wagner (Supervisor)

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