The impact of ambient awareness on customers’ purchase intentions

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zahra Yarmohammadi (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Hamid Nemanti

Abstract: Recent developments in the field of e-commerce have led to a renewed interest in utilizing novel techniques to impact customers' decision-making processes that lead to revenue growth. One approach that has been noted in the literature is to focus on customer awareness as a mean of raising profitability (Wang & Zhang, 2011). This dissertation posits that customer awareness that impacts decision making is likely to include not only technological aspects it also includes information with a considerable amount of content related to business, products, or services which are socially available (Curty & Zhang, 2011). In fact, this dissertation investigates informational-perspective effects via defining and studying the emergence of exclusive customer awareness through its surrounding environment, called ambient awareness, and its role in customers' decision making. The idea of ambient awareness refers to the awareness that individuals obtain from ambient communications occurring around them (Leonardi & Meyer, 2015). Indeed, this dissertation examines whether incidental exposure to cues can activate different goals and, in turn, influence subsequent intentions on undesired primarily choice of product in an ambient environment. In IS literature, only a few studies discussed the ambient awareness concept. In most of these studies, ambient awareness is primarily defined as awareness of "who knows what" and "who knows whom" in an enterprise social media that facilitate the knowledge transfer between coworkers (Leonardi, 2015). Similarly, others identified the concept of ambient awareness as the awareness that an individual obtains from the communications occurring around them, again from the perspective of knowledge transfer between individuals (Leonardi & Meyer, 2015; Thompson, 2008). The current dissertation investigated the process by which ambient awareness is developed and its gradual impacts on different aspects of customers' mindsets. Although few prior kinds of research have acknowledged the importance of cognitive processes (e.g., Hinds & Pfeffer, 2003; Olivera et al., 2008), most of them have emphasized on motivational explanations. This dissertation conceptualizes ambient awareness development as the intersection of cognition and motivation theories to better understand customers purchasing decisions. Then, it presents a conceptual model of ambient awareness development and studies its impacts through the lens of two complementary cognitive and motivational theories. Two powerful theories are integrated (i.e., SCT and ELM) to explain the paths that customers take to develop ambient awareness that impact their purchasing decisions. The dissertation then presents the results of a controlled experimental study to empirically test the impact of the ambient awareness development on decision making. The results show that ambient awareness development in the experiment phases positively contributed to shifting customers' attitudes toward purchasing (i.e., purchase intention). Finally, this dissertation provided evidence that ambient awareness impacted customers' decisions, and eventually altered customers' purchase intentions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Ambient Awareness, Customers' Attitude, Customers' Behavior, ELM Theory, Social Commerce, Social Networks
Electronic commerce
Online social networks
Consumer behavior
Consumers $x Attitudes

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