Display lighting on American and Taiwanese consumers' perception : browsing in a virtual retail store
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The primary purpose of this study is to empirically explore how display lighting affects consumers' perception and psychology in a retail environment; and to further explore the effects on the experiences of American and Taiwanese subject groups. Display lighting is known to be an important environmental stimulus in a space. From a variety of design options, more successful display lighting designs can both attract consumers' attention and interest in the merchandise and potentially raise consumers' approach intention and shopping desire. Despite the importance, the impacts of retail display lighting on consumers' perceptions, emotions, satisfaction, and intentions have rarely been examined. In addition, as marketing efforts have become increasingly globalized, designers have more opportunities to join various international design projects. However, knowledge of consumers' cultural differences that influences the effects of display lighting on perceptional and psychological responses in a retail store has not yet been built. Due to the lack of empirical evidence, designers and retailers have limited information to base their design decisions on in order to provide better consumer experiences and to address the needs of different cultures in a retail environment. This study investigated consumers' perceptions and psychological responses of American and Taiwanese groups, each consisting of 80 subjects. Different levels of contrasts and color temperatures of lighting were tested. Four different lighting conditions of an electronic store were developed in a high-fidelity 3D computer simulation and tested. Participants' responses were recorded immediately after the experiment. Differences between the two participant groups' responses to the four lighting conditions were statistically analyzed for comparison. The findings of this study indicate that the contrast and color temperature of lighting have different influences on American and Taiwanese participants' perceptions and psychological responses in a virtual electronic retail environment. Participants' pleasure and arousal states are significantly influenced by cultural differences and lighting combinations. The potential contributions of the study are to offer new knowledge regarding: the effects of display lighting in retail spaces and differences between Western and Eastern subjects' perceptions in retail environments that have been often noticed by designers familiar with both cultures. This study can also offer useful practical guidelines for effective display lighting design in retail environments by providing a better understanding of consumers' experiences from the perspective of varying cultural backgrounds. In addition, this study can introduce computer simulation as a viable tool to empirically understand the effects of lighting on viewers.
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