Incorporating web aesthetics into e-tail atmospherics research: an evaluation of multiple theoretical frameworks

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With an objective of understanding the environmental influences on consumers through an aesthetic approach, the present study evaluates the influence of the visual aesthetics of the e-tail websites on online consumers' psychological and behavioural consequences from a conceptual perspective. In the paper, we focus on clarifying: 1) the need for web aesthetics research; 2) the concept of aesthetics; 3) the current research gap; 4) the advantages and disadvantages of different theoretical frameworks for the study of web aesthetics. To examine the effects of web aesthetics, innovation adoption and diffusion theory, classical attitude theory, usability theory, and environmental psychology theory are respectively adopted as theoretical foundations, and the four theoretical frameworks are comparatively discussed in an online shopping context. Based on theoretical explanations, the important meanings of web aesthetics to marketing researchers and e-tail practitioners are offered.

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Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJEMR.2011.039898

Publication Title

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing