Talking avatar is a virtual character that mimics a person and can speak in his/her voice. These avatars are used in online videos to provide information, tutorials, and even chats with users. This type of video is a much more interesting way to present content and can be used in different applications. It is especially beneficial for those who are visually impaired. In addition, it is also a great way to keep people engaged when watching a long video. It is believed that people are more likely to follow video tutorials than written ones.
Research has shown that talking avatars can enhance consumer trust and website patronage intention in the form of a sense of social presence, information credibility, and benevolence. In addition, these avatars can be programmed to have a wide variety of expressive behaviors. Therefore, they are effective tools for websites to increase their e-commerce performance. However, prior research has largely focused on non-interactive talking avatars that are limited in interactivity and voiced by text-to-speech software.
This study will explore the moderating effects of consumer gender on the effects of non-interactive talking avatars on perceived social presence, information credibility, and website patronage intention. In order to test this, a 2 (non-interactive talking avatar presence: presence versus absence) x 2 (user gender: male versus female) between-subjects laboratory experiment will be conducted. It is expected that this experiment will reveal that non-interactive talking avatars are effective at enhancing website trust in male participants, but may negatively affect them in their perceptions of website credibility and benevolence, especially in female users. talking avatar