Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Youn-Kyung Kim

Committee Members

Ann E. Fairhurst, Sejin Ha, Kiwon Lee, Lowell Gaertner


The study was designed to explore store atmospheric cues currently employed by online retailers. The specific research goals were to establish a comprehensive taxonomy of online store atmospheric cues; and to develop a gender-neutral measurement of online store atmospheric cues identified through qualitative and quantitative approaches.

The study generated an initial item pool via literature review and a focus group interview, and personal interviews were conducted to identify possible online store atmospheric cues and classify items into the identified online store atmospheric cues. A pretest (n = 192) was conducted to initially purify items, and the main study (n = 1751) was conducted for measurement purification and validation. To generate a gender-neutral measurement, the differential item functioning test was conducted for every identified atmospheric cue to eliminate items showing biased responses between males and females. As a result, the study established a gender-neutral measurement consisting 52 items that measure 16 online store atmospheric cues: customization, font, layout, visual, rich media, content, CSR, order fulfillment, company information, merchandise, navigation, promotion, security, support, personalization, and social cues. The study provided implications to future researchers and online retailers based on the findings.

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E-Commerce Commons