Convenience and Emotions through Facial Expressions: Evidence from Online Medication Shopping Behavior

Semra Ersöz, Prof Hendrik Schröder

Volume 18 | Issue 2 pp. 94-121


Convenience is a crucial factor for e-commerce websites and is closely linked to our emotions as the evaluation of the comfort and ease of shopping. However, the emotional component is insufficiently explored in studies. This study aims to extend existing knowledge about the relationship between search convenience, as the main component of online shopping convenience, and emotions in addition to predictors of search convenience in a specific purchase situation: using online pharmacies. Participants’ emotion elicitation in terms of emotion valence (positive-negative) and emotion intensity in terms of convenience is theoretically determined using the appraisal theory of emotions and methodologically by automated facial expression analysis (FaceReader). In a combination of observational and self-report data, the relationships between predictors and emotions on search convenience are calculated using partial least squares structural equation modeling.
The results show that a comprehensible product arrangement positively influences search convenience, and familiar navigation structures from online stores increase search convenience, whereas knowledge from brick-and-mortar pharmacies does not. As search convenience increased, the intensity of positive emotions decreased, consistent with the theoretical emotional perception of convenience. From these findings for search convenience in the use of online pharmacies, the theoretical and methodical implications are discussed.

Keywords: Emotions, E-Pharmacy, Convenience, Facial Expressions, Medication Retail, FACS

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