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Abstract

In this study we investigate the effects of user skill and task challenge on online shoppers’ experiences. We use a model suggested by flow theory in which shoppers are grouped into four categories (flow, anxiety, boredom, and apathy) based on their perceptions of task challenge and their skill in performing an online shopping task. Results show that anxious shoppers have lower perceptions of the dimensions of flow, believe online shopping Web sites are less useful, and believe they are less likely to use the system in the future compared to the other three groups of online shoppers. In addition to challenge and skill, having a clear goal and fast feedback also contribute to the flow experience.

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