Purpose – The purpose of the present research is to develop a better understanding of the logic behind virtual fittings room (VFR) technologies and the opportunities they can create to enhance B2C e-commerce retail. It aims to establish understandings of how augmented reality (AR) technologies, such as VFRs, can enhance the customer experience in e-commerce retailing. More specifically, the research focuses on customer satisfaction and emotions after VFR experiences and discusses the technology's potential tangible and intangible benefits. Method - Based on theoretical literature, a conceptual framework was developed and elaborated on the components of AR technologies, VFRs, the customer experience, customer satisfaction, and customer emotions. Drawing on a qualitative research approach, semi-structured interviews with twelve commonly known VFR users were conducted and discussed the customer satisfaction and emotions of VFR experiences. After collecting the data, the thematic analysis identified and analyzed various themes and patterns related to the research questions. Findings - Results have indicated that the fast utilization of VFR technologies, its user-friendly character, the low expectations towards the novel VFR tool, and the increased shopping productivity contributed to the overall customer satisfaction. As a result, emotions such as joy, surprise, and curiosity occurred. Additionally, VFR’s efficiency and beneficial impact on the environment are relevant customer motivators to use VFRs. Still, VFR novelty needs more innovation in order to reach customer trust and loyalty. Besides that, low customer efforts and low VFR awareness caused no customer knowledge, influence, or referrals. The customer behavior-intention gap thus remains a presence, despite the positive emotions after the VFR experience. Therefore, e-commerce retailers should focus on customer convenience via VFR technologies to enhance the customer experience. Finally, this study served an exploratory purpose, and its objective was to generate theory. In addition to that, antecedents of the VFR experience, like customer satisfaction and emotions, could further investigate the environmental's tangible and intangible consequences. Therefore, future research could follow the proposed conceptual model presented in the last part of this study.

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Niels Vink
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Renée Koppens. (2021, August 31). E-Commerce Retail & Augmented Reality. An Exploratory Study about Virtual Fitting Room Technologies and Online Customer Experiences. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/60663