Avatar Identification on a 3D Commercial Website: Gender Issues
This research examines the influence of identification with an avatar on immersion in a 3D commercial website and its subsequent effect on satisfaction with the website. It also focuses on the potential moderating role of gender in these relationships. Two studies were conducted. The first study comprised 286 students and collected both quantitative and qualitative data on the visit to the website; the second, longitudinal study consisted of 32 participants who visited the website additional times during a two-month period. The results show that during the first visit, (1) gender influenced the creation of the avatar, (2) identification with the avatar strongly influenced immersion and satisfaction, and (3) gender moderated the identification–immersion relationship. The longitudinal results reveal the dynamics of avatar personalization over time and show that gender influence is not significant over time anymore. Implications of these results for managers and academics conclude the study.
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