Effects of product learning aids on the breadth and depth of recall
Product learning aid, which helps consumers to gain product knowledge for subsequent procurement, has fast become an indispensable Information Technology (IT) feature in online shopping website. Contemporary product learning aids differ in the types of the information cues they afford. For instance, some product learning aids, which are of interest to this study, present static product images with text description (text and image-based) while others present animated product images with voice narration (narration and video-based). Anchoring on the cognitive information processing paradigm, we posit that different type of product learning aids (i.e., text and image-based versus narration and video-based) could exert dissimilar impacts on a consumer's recall capacity. Recall capacity is manifested in two aspects, namely the breadth (i.e., the quantity of attributes recallable) and the depth (i.e., the articulation of the comparison of the product attributes during the decision-making process). Through a laboratory experiment, we observed a differentiated impact of a product learning aid on the breadth and depth of a consumer's recall capacity. More elaborately, while a narration and video-based product learning aid could increase the recall breadth, it yields the lowest in recall depth. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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