Increasingly, researchers have come to acknowledge that consumption activities comprise both utilitarian and hedonic elements. Whereas utilitarian consumption accentuates the achievement of predetermined outcomes typical of cognitive customer behavior, its hedonic counterpart relates to affective customer behavior in dealing with the emotive and multi-sensory aspects of the consumption experience. While utilitarian consumption activities appeal to the rationality of customers in inducing their intellectual buy-in of the consumption experience, customers’ emotional buy-in can only be attained through hedonic consumption activities. The same can be said for online shopping. Because the online shopping environment is characterized bythe existence of an IT-enabled web interface that acts as the focal point of contact between customers and vendors, its design should embed utilitarian and hedonic elements in order to create a holistic consumption experience. Drawing on the Expectation Disconfirmation Theory (EDT), this study advances a model that not only delineates between utilitarian and hedonic customer expectations for online shopping but also highlights how these expectations can be best served through design elements of e-commerce websites catering to functional and aesthetic performance respectively. The model is then empirically verified via an online survey administered on a sample of 303 student respondents. Theoretical contributions and pragmatic implications to be gleaned from our empirical findings are discussed.
Lim, Eric T.K.; Cyr, Dianne; and Tan, C.W., "Untangling Utilitarian And Hedonic Consumption Behaviors In Online Shopping" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 94.