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Digital business models increasingly utilize gamblification (i.e., the use of gambling design elements in non-gambling contexts) to enhance traditional revenue generation. However, despite the increasing prevalence of gamblified digital business models, little is known about the influence of gamblification design on user behavior. We examine how gamblification in the form of differently designed loot boxes (i.e., gamblified virtual goods) and the connected effects of risk avoidance, previous endowment, and risk attitudes affects user purchase behavior. We conducted a contest-based online experiment with 180 participants, revealing that user purchase behavior is positively affected when loot boxes with a certain (vs. an uncertain) reward are offered. This risk avoidance effect increases when participants are either previously endowed with an unopened loot box or when they are risk-averse. Our findings yield theoretical and practical implications for gamblification in general and loot boxes complementing digital business models in particular.



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