ECRA co-editors' introduction for volume 9, issue 2, March-April 2010

Publication Type

Journal Article

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This issue of ECRA showcases a special issue of new research articles on the theme of “Theoretical and Empirical Advances in Electronic Auction Research.” The emphasis on theory and work with real-world data is especially welcome at this journal. We are grateful to the special issue Guest Editors, Claudia Loebbecke (University of Koln, Germany), Roumen Vragov (Baruch College of the City University of New York, USA), and Chuck Wood of Notre Dame University, USA).The papers in this issue were developed over the course of typically three rounds of review. The Guest Editors were careful to identify works that examined promising areas of new knowledge on e-auction mechanism design and performance, explored the application of new methodologies to enhance our understanding of current issues, and offered new results on e-auction practices.In addition, there are two articles that represent regular research submissions to the journal. The first article of the regular submissions is by Manuel J. Sanchez-Franco and Francisco Javier Rondan-Cataluña, entitled “Virtual Travel Communities and Customer Loyalty: Customer Purchase Involvement and Web Site Design.” The authors contend that there is a knowledge gap related to the relationship among instrumental cues for usability, hedonic cues for visual aesthetics, and overall satisfaction for high and low purchase-involvement customers. To fill this gap they propose and verify an integrative model of relationship quality based on overall satisfaction through the influence of usability and visual aesthetics. The authors use the theory base of relationship quality to study the moderating effects of purchase involvement in the relationship between satisfaction and design variables.Using data from an online survey, the authors apply a structural equation modeling approach with partial least squares estimation to develop their empirical results. The authors study the effects of high and low customer purchase involvement, and are able to make useful managerial recommendations about how visual aesthetics play a role. They report that usability is more important for high purchase involvement customers. This research will be useful for firms that wish to derive benefits from virtual communities. It will also help them to explore ways to strengthen the social identity of virtual community members, since it highlights the variables that are important in determining the acceptance of online services.The final article in this issue is “The Effects of the Amount of Information on Cognitive Responses in Online Purchasing Tasks,” by Maria Sicilia and Salvador Ruiz. In this article, the authors explore and integrate the concepts of two streams of research related to websites that involve consumer purchases: one is focused on modes of persuasion, and the other on information overload. The authors use a cognitive response model to analyze four types of cognitive responses related to information processing during a purchasing task through a website. They include: content-related responses, peripheral cues, orientation responses, and other cognitive responses. The authors argue that a marketer will be more effective in motivating consumers to process information and other peripheral aspects of the website if more content and peripheral cue-related responses are available.To test their hypotheses, the authors conducted an experiment using computers as the product category. They also developed three websites with varying levels of information about the product to evaluate whether there was an increase or a decrease in processing of information by their subjects. The authors found empirical evidence of an inverted U-shape relationship between content elaboration and the amount of information on a website, highlighting the information overload problem that consumers face when they make purchases on the Internet. This article highlights the fact that managers need to be conscious that too much or too little information can be detrimental to consumer purchasing decisions online. It also suggests that peripheral aspects of the website, such as web design, colors, and background music, make a difference to consumer when they are making purchase decisions online.We would like to extend our thanks to the people who worked on the special issue articles as reviewers, and generously gave their time. Finally, we thank the people who served on the Special Issue Advisory Board that the Guest Editors assembled, and who assisted the authors in their solicitation of interesting research papers.As usual, we would like to thank the authors and the anonymous reviewers of the regular research submissions for their constructive work with ECRA’s Editorial Board Members. We continue to seek volunteers to serve on our editorial board and to review submitted articles. In addition, we are always seeking proposals for special issues that can be built from conference and workshop interactions by academic and industry researchers who have an interest in developing their works to a high level of quality for global distribution to the multiple stakeholder communities that are interested in electronic commerce.


Computer Sciences

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management


Electronic Commerce Research and Applications





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