Virtual test-driving: The impact of simulated products on purchase intention

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Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, ISSN: 0969-6989, Vol: 21, Issue: 5, Page: 877-887

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PAPAGIANNIDIS, Savvas; SEE-TO, Wing Kuen, Eric; BOURLAKIS, Michael
Elsevier BV; Pergamon Press
Business, Management and Accounting; Engagement; Enjoyment; Product authenticity; Product simulation; Purchase intention; User experience; Business Administration, Management, and Operations
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article description
This paper studies a number of key determinants of users׳ experience and engagement when driving a simulated car model, the outcome of this engagement in relation to enjoyment and satisfaction and the role of user satisfaction in purchasing the actual product. We test a holistic model using an experimental quantitative approach. Our analysis suggests that hedonic experience may create higher levels of engagement among users of the simulated car. Enjoyment and engagement were found to positively influence user satisfaction while driving the simulated car. In turn, user satisfaction with the simulated car was found to positively influence purchasing intention for the actual car. Our work has shown how a simulation based on widely available technologies can provide a foundation for the development of a relationship between a user and the simulated product. Consequently, our research findings have significant theoretical and practical implications beyond the auto-manufacturing industry, as experiencing simulated products can play an important role in the context of electronic commerce. This is especially true given the increasingly important role ‘experience’ plays in electronic marketing.