Although the impact of chatbot anthropomorphism on chatbot-based customer service evaluations has been widely discussed, its impact on purchase behavior has not been well understood. Thus, building on the theories of the halo effect and task-technology fit (TTF), this paper explains how and when these effects take place. Specifically, we distinguish the chatbot-based and store-based evaluations and explore their connections, identify the cognitive and emotional mechanisms behind their relationships, and investigate the moderating role of reply type. A survey of 203 respondents were conducted. The results show that chatbot anthropomorphism is positively associated with cognitive (perceived trust) and emotional (perceived enjoyment) evaluation of the chatbot which in turn affect perceived warmth of the online store and purchase intention. The impacts of chatbot anthropomorphism on chatbot evaluations are stronger for social replies than for functional replies. Finally, both theoretical and practical contribution are discussed.
Zhang, Ruitao and Wang, Nan, "Unravelling the Impact of Chatbot Anthropomorphism on Purchase Behavior: A Perspective of Halo Effect and Task-Technology Fit" (2023). PACIS 2023 Proceedings. 166.
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