How Content Volume on Landing Pages Influences Consumer ‎‎Behavior: Empirical Evidence

Ruti Gafni, Nim Dvir
InSITE 2018  •  2018  •  pp. 035-053

This paper describes an empirical investigation on how consumer behavior is influenced by the volume of content on a commercial landing page -- a stand-alone web page designed to collect user data (in this case the user’s e-mail address), a behavior called “conversion.”

Content is a term commonly used to describe the information made available by a website or other electronic medium. A pertinent debate among scholars and practitioners relate to information volume and consumer behavior: do more details elicit engagement and compliance, operationalized through conversions, or the other way around?

A pilot study (n= 535) was conducted in ‎real-world commercial setting, followed by a series of large-scale online experiments (n= 27,083). Both studies employed a between-group design: Two variations of landing pages, long and short, were created based on various behavioral theories. User traffic to the pages was generated using online advertising and randomized between the pages (A/B testing).

This research contributes to the body of knowledge on the antecedents and outcomes of online commercial interaction, focusing on content as a determinant of consumer decision-making and behavior.

The observed results indicate a negative correlation between content volume and users’ conversions. The shorter pages had significantly higher conversion rates, across locations and time. Findings suggest that content play a significant role in online decision making. They also contradict prior research on trust, persuasion, and security.

At a practical level, results can inform practitioners on the importance of content in online commerce. They provide an empirical support to design and content strategy considerations, specifically the use of elaboration in commercial web pages.

At the theoretical level, this research advances the body of knowledge on the paradoxical relationship between the increased level of information and online decision-making and indicates that contrary to earlier work, not all persuasion theories‎ are ‎effective online.

Understanding how information drive behavior has implications in many domains (civic engagement, health, education and more). This has relevance to system design and public communication in both online and offline contexts, suggesting social value.

‎Using this research as a starting point, future research can examine the impact of content in other contexts, as well as other behavioral drivers (such as demographic data). This can lead to theoretical, methodological and practical recommendations.

content, landing pages, content strategy, impression-management, decision-making, human-computer interaction, engagement, ‎a/b testing, ‎e-commerce, ‎marketing
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