Enhancing Trust in E-Commerce Sites Through Talking Avatars

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A talking avatar is an animated virtual character that interacts with users online and delivers messages in a human voice. Avatars are often used in presentations, videos, websites, and emails to engage audiences. They can be customized with different hairstyles, eyes, clothing, and accessories. They can also be made to speak in a variety of languages, as well as use text-to-speech or lip-sync. They can also be integrated with other media, such as photos and images.

Social presence is an important factor in consumer perceptions of e-commerce sites, and talking avatars are a means of creating social and psychological impressions that enhance consumers’ trust in online stores. In particular, they can be perceived as a “frontline” advocate who provides social cues such as greetings and product information in the absence of face-to-face interaction. In this regard, the present study investigates whether non-interactive talking avatars can enhance website trust and patronage intention through a combination of visual and auditory aspects.

The results of the experiment suggest that, on average, users perceive a non-interactive talking avatar as more credible than a static image. In addition, the avatars can help users feel a sense of familiarity with the e-commerce site and its product offerings. This finding is consistent with the Computers as Social Actors theory, which suggests that people are inclined to reciprocate online interactions that resemble social and psychological impressions of other humans.

Moreover, the non-interactive talking avatars can provide an avenue for social interaction between consumers and website owners by facilitating two-way communication. This enables consumers to evaluate the site’s ability to perform its business domain, its sincerity in placing priority on consumers’ needs and interests, its integrity in representing products, and its fulfilment of promises. talking avatar

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