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Compared to offline media communications, business-to-consumer (B2C) websites possess unique characteristics that affect the likelihood of generating emotional reactions to the web experience itself, the brand, fellow customers, and employees of the firm. The emotion-causing antecedents elucidated in this article are the website's vividness, interactivity, challenge, interaction speed, machine memory, and allowable social interactions. Depending on how a website performs on these dimensions, positive or negative emotions may result. For example, using machine memory to automatically generate purchase recommendations based on prior consumption patterns may be perceived as pleasantly surprising, while a firm sending unsolicited emails based on a user's cookie trail may be annoying. Regardless of the valence of the resultant emotion, the feelings generated may attach to the brand. Because a goal of brand managers is to get consumers to associate positive emotions with a brand, a pre-condition to developing and managing a website is understanding these emotion evoking antecedents and their ramifications.
This document has been peer reviewed.