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EMAC 2022 Annual

Tidy your room! The Impact of Product Evaluation Context on Augmented Reality’s Effectiveness in E-Commerce

Published: May 24, 2022


Alexander Pfaff, LMU Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Martin Spann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München


Augmented Reality (AR) enables consumers to project product holograms into their surrounding real-world context in real time using their mobile devices. While AR may improve consumers’ product evaluation, AR-deploying retailers give up control over the context their products are evaluated in. Hence, their products might end up being evaluated in unfavorable contexts. Consumers’ real-world contexts oftentimes deviate from stylized product presentation contexts which can be found in retailers’ catalogs or online shops, for example. Negative spillover effects from context onto perceptions of evaluated products may lead consumers to refrain from purchase. In an online experiment with 400 participants, we find that contextual untidiness negatively affects consumers’ product quality perception and purchase intent. Contextual brightness mitigates this effect. We derive theoretical and practical implications and give ideas for future research.