This study from the Missouri University of Science and Technology found that websites with a stronger emotional impact produced a greater intent to buy.
In the study, subjects were asked to find a pair of sneakers from three different websites with varying levels of atmosphere and interactivity. Using Russell’s Circumplex Model, a method used to measure emotional engagement for retail consumers, researchers compared this test’s data to similar studies from real world environments.
Researchers monitored subjects’ pupil dilation, skin response and heart-rate as well as asking participants to fill out a questionnaire afterwards. What they found was that as interactivity and atmosphere increased, participants became more engaged and interested, and thus more inclined to buy.