Examining the Relative Impact of Professional Profile Images and Facial Expressions in Small Business-to-Business Marketing Online

This paper responds to a call for research on the context-specific effects of human images in different online contexts. This study investigates how inherent facial expressions in a consultant’s profile image influence the likelihood to contact tendency of small business-to-business website visitors. The results from a conjoint study (n = 67) demonstrate that a consultant’s profile image with a smiling facial expression induced a higher likelihood to contact tendency. While the absence of a profile image reduced this tendency, relatively more than an image with a neutral facial expression. In light of these results, implications for small businesses as well as suggestions for future research are discussed. The study is published in Interacting with Computers and presented at Forskning.no.

Co-creation of Value Using Social Media in the Service Industry: An Empirical Case Study of Service Innovation in a Banking and Finance Company

This study aims to expand understanding of social business processes for co-creation in the service industry. Findings from a case study showed that the banking and finance company in Norway manage to co-create value together with their users. Several new online products and services have been launched since the co-creation lab was launched. The banking and finance companies’ co-creation lab has a small, but stabile group of users. There are, however, findings that indicate that there could been achieved even more value in co-creation process through more and better interaction from the company’s side, as well as introducing an incentive arrangement for the users of the co-creation lab. This study is published at the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM).

On the relative impact of male and female sellers’ profile image and its facial expressions upon peer users’ behavior on Airbnb

This study aims to investigate the influence of a male and female sellers ́ profile image and its expressions on the choices made by the peer user within the context of peer-to-peer accommodation rental. We arranged a scenario in which participants evaluated their likelihood to rent an apartment on Airbnb. Results of the conjoint study (r = 0.967, p = 0.000) show that, relative to price and customer reviews, a seller ́s profile image and its facial expression has a strong impact on the likelihood to rent the apartment on Airbnb. Second, the male seller profile image and its facial expression had the strongest impact in both positive and negative directions. Finally, the absence of a seller’s profile image (head silhouette) had a relatively strong negative impact on the likelihood to rent. Sellers looking to sublet property on Airbnb should be aware that their profile image could potentially influence prospective tenants. The study is published in Procedia Computer Science.

Young People’s Views of Municipality Websites: Use, Attitudes, and Perception of Quality

This research investigated public sector websites in Norway by focusing on municipalities. Norway consists of 422 municipalities each of which has its own website. To help inform the increasing investments and use of technologies within eGovernment, this study focused on young people’s perceptions of municipality websites. Today’s young people constitute a key user group in the coming years. An online survey was conducted with undergraduate students in Norway. Findings suggest that young adults do not widely use municipality websites and that they visit primarily to search for specific information or use digital services. Results also suggest that young adults prefer digital interaction over face-to-face communication, and email and chat are their most favored ways to interact with the public sector. They consider paper-based communication undesirable. Participants ranked the quality of municipality websites as moderate to good but were not overwhelmingly positive. This study is published at International Conference on Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective.

The relationship between young consumers’ decision-making styles and propensity to shop clothing online with a smartphone

Consumer behavior in retail is changing due to the adoption of technologies such as the Internet and the smartphone. This study focused on studying the relationship between young consumers’ decision-making styles and their propensity to shop clothing online with a smartphone. The Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI) was used as base for a survey with young adult students. The results indicated that four out of eight CSI measurements, namely brand consciousness, fashion consciousness, impulsiveness and recreational shopping behavior, positively correlate with the respondents’ frequency to look at and/or buy clothing online with a smartphone. These findings are important for retailers that strive to increase economic earnings from mobile technology solutions. The study is published in Procedia Computer Science.

What’s the “Thing” in Internet of Things in Grocery Shopping? A Customer Approach

The Internet of Things (IoT) technology presents an opportunity for retail groceries to develop an infrastructure that makes physical things such as mobile phone, shopping basket, store shelves, digital display, and, even the product itself smart, allowing real-time interaction with customers both in the physical store and in the virtual store. The aim of this study was to expand understanding of how IoT can create value in the retail grocery choice situation. To investigate the impact of IoT-related information on consumer choice in a shopping situation, we arranged a conjoint experiment in which participants purchased fresh salmon in a grocery store. The results demonstrated that relative to static information about price, expiry date, quality, and offers given, the real-time information was the most salient stimulus when choosing fresh salmon. Moreover, quality ratings by other customers were the most salient stimuli among real-time information, followed by an offer based on a product in the shopping cart, real-time expiry date, and real-time price. The study is published in Procedia Computer Science.

Situational Factors Influencing Customers’ Credit Use Online: A Behavioral Economic Approach

This study investigated consumers ́credit use online from the perspective of intertemporal choice and focuses on the impact of personalized credit information when choosing a utilitarian versus hedonic product. In a simulated shopping experiment, participants from a Norwegian university college could either save money for the product and get it in the future or buy the product on credit and get it now. A between-group design was used with a randomized selection divided into two groups. The test group received personalized credit information while choosing the utilitarian and hedonic products. The control group did not have this information. Area Under Curve was calculated and used to make statistical operations. Results demonstrated that all participants discounted the saving alternative when the time delay increased, which, therefore, increased their willingness to buy on credit online. Participants ́ discounting of the saving alternative was near the hyperbolic model. Second, a significant difference between the utilitarian versus the hedonic products was found for all participants ́ willingness to buy on credit online. Finally, personalized information about credit debt had little influence on credit use, but some indications related to hedonic product calls for further research. This study is published in the Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

Persuasive technology

Sanchit Pawar gives a presentation at The Behavior Bar the 12th of October 2017. His talk is on Persuasive technology, a topic which is part of research in the Behavioral Lab at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology. Persuasive technology is broadly defined as technology designed to facilitate behavioral change. It is based on the principles of human-computer interaction and experimental methodologies. It shares several core features with behavioral science. In order to effectively utilize technology for behavioral change, we propose that the influence of technology can be better understood from a behavior-analytic perspective. Show up and listen to this groundbreaking topic within human-computer interaction.

Design of Digital Products in the Future

A paper titled “Design of Digital Products in the Future: A Study of Interaction Design Students and Their Perceptions on Design Issues” by Hanne Sørum was presented at the conference HCI International 2017 in Vancouver, Canada,  9-14 July 2017. Today’s students on programs covering interaction design will most likely contribute to the development of products that we will use in the future. The roles they will play in this regard will of course depend on various factors. Regardless of this, their educational background is a vital component, along with their motivation, personality, knowledge, and ideas. The present study reports on an online questionnaire (n = 82) given to students on interaction design programs. Additionally, eight qualitative interviews were performed to gain more insight. The findings show that, in general, the students of today perceive themselves to be in great shape for the development of future products. However, the majority of the respondents have also considered other study areas that might be relevant to them, grounded in shared backgrounds and interests. They also enjoy working individually with design ideas and prototypes, and they generally prefer working with digital solutions over working with print and physical products. User testing is found to be a vital element within the design process, although the analysis of such  data  is  found  to  be  somewhat  difficult. Concerning  industrial  needs,  the students struggle to clearly define the role of an interaction designer and the tasks they are expected to perform when taking on a job within the design industry. This paper ends with concluding remarks and suggestions for upcoming research contributions.

Consumers´ credit use

The consumer credit use project has gained a lot of attention. From the lens of behavioral economics, we investigates consumers´ choice between saving and credit use. Understanding of consumers’ credit use is of vital importance as well as for the responsible policy-makes, credit card companies, researchers, as for the individual credit users. This research is done by Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo ACT, Norway), Donald Hantula (Temple University, US) and Lars Sydnes (Westerdals Oslo ACT). Our research is published in The Psychological Records and has been mentioned in Forskning.no, Aftenposten, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation).