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Uncertainty reduction is an important precondition for various facilitators of Internet shopping behaviors, visitors dealing with an online store will require sufficient information so as to reduce their uncertainty of the Web site. Uncertainty reduction theory has identified four strategies for the visitors to lower their uncertainty. Since different Internet strategies have different efficiency and effectiveness at conveying different levels of information, and not all tasks have the same information need, the relative effectiveness of these technologies at supporting these strategies to reduce uncertainty is still unclear. This research designs two laboratory experiments to investigate how the initial visitors will use different types of uncertainty-reducing technological support, how different task types and different levels of presented information would lead to greater uncertainty reduction. The results would inform practitioners on how these strategies could be useful to reduce uncertainty surrounding new online stores, and ultimately to promote Internet commerce.
Date of Conference: 21-25 Sept. 2007