Recent research has called for a need to infuse social presence into e-commerce websites, suggesting that a website low in social presence will be difficult to satisfy consumers‟ social needs (for interacting with other humans) when they are shopping online. This study finds that web interface elements of socially rich text and picture and virtual community, which provide means for personal interaction, lead to higher perception of social presence. Results, however, also show that social presence per se is not significant in predicting online purchase intention. Even so, e-vendors may also benefit from offering high level of personal interaction through their web interface as those three website features have influential impacts on trust and perceived value, two predicators of online purchase intention found in this study.
Xu, Chenyan and Leung, Louis, "Enhancing Personal Interaction through the Web interface in Online Shopping: An Exploratory Study" (2007). ICEB 2007 Proceedings. 43.