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Information Processing Style and E-commerce Website Design: A Clustering-based Conjoint Approach
In a hypercompetitive e-commerce world, the information presented on websites and how prospective customers process such information become highly crucial for subsequent decisions and transactions. Customers differ by their style of information processing. Extant literature indicates a visual or verbal mode of information processing as distinct cognitive styles, which demand a particular mix of website content.
This study designed and developed an orthogonal set of websites and clustered website visitors based on their cognitive style preferences. The website attributes preferences were identified for a distinct segment of customers through a conjoint study.
This research deployed a novel approach to website design using a combined method of clustering (based on Style of Processing scale) and conjoint analysis to design relevant websites for different segments of customers. We find the ‘call to action phrase’ as the most crucial attribute followed by ‘product information, ‘search option availability,’ and ‘product page display’ in that order. The importance of these website elements differed significantly by gender. If the customers predominantly used verbal information processing, the product information was more important but if they are visually oriented, then they depend more on ‘product page display.’
The findings are expected to help e-commerce retailers to optimize the website design based on the style of information processing of customers.
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