While (Koufaris 2002) noted that electronic commerce must be understood from the perspective that web consumers are simultaneously information technology users, we argue that emerging 3D virtual worlds add another dimension of viewing consumers, as embodied avatars (i.e. 3D representations of the consumers), who interact with other avatars (buyers or sellers), and are able to purchase products within a shared virtual place. These mediated interactions and behaviors involve cognitive and emotional experiences for which current theories such as the theory of planned behavior and the theory of technology acceptance model might be limited in capturing their complexity. The purpose of this research in progress is to suggest and empirically validate a theoretical model grounded in psychology, virtual reality and environmental theories. This theoretical model is aimed at understanding the emerging complexity of consumer’s behavior in 3D virtual worlds. Expected implications for research and practice are also discussed.
Hendaoui, Adel and Limayem, Moez, "Understanding Consumer Virtual Shopping Behavior in 3D Virtual Worlds: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 78.