The emergence of electronic books (e-books) and e-reader technology has greatly changed people’s reading habits. Compared to traditional print books, e-books offer a wide range of advantages. Meanwhile, consumers still hesitate to buy e-books, probably also due to its intangibility nature. Anchored on the literature of service marketing, this study investigates the effects of visual cues on consumers’ perception of tangibility and their purchase intention of e-books. The results of our laboratory experiment demonstrate that a 3D-view image (compared to the traditional 2D-view image) can significantly increase consumers’ purchase intentions of an e-book and this effect is fully mediated by consumers’ perceived tangibility of the e-book. More interestingly, we find that the positive effect of 3D-view presentation on purchase intention is only significant among consumers who don’t value e-book’s advantage of saving space. Our research contributes to the HCI literature by showing that visual presentation can be used as an effective tangibility cue to shape people’s psychological imaging of an intangible offering. It also helps practitioners choose an optimal presentation format for digital products.
Liang, Yuan and Qiu, Lingyun, "The Effect on Tangibility Cues on Purchase Intention for E-Books" (2017). PACIS 2017 Proceedings. 76.