Try It On! Contingency Effects of Virtual Fitting Rooms

Shuai Yang, Guiyang Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A revolutionary application of the virtual reality technology in online retailing, virtual fitting room (VFR), has attracted attention of researchers and practitioners recently. However, it remains unclear whether and how VFR influences sales and post-sales outcomes based on the limited literature, and retailers hesitate in adopting the technology due to concerns about its profit prospects. In this research, we conduct two large-scale field experiments to test the causal effects of different VFR designs, and a lab experiment to unveil the underlying theoretical mechanisms. We find that, although VFR can have a sizeable positive effect on sales, it can be counterproductive when used improperly. Specifically, personalized VFR may not increase sales if used in combination with conventional product visualizations because self-discrepancy becomes salient under this condition. Moreover, VFR significantly influences post-sales outcomes, i.e., it enhances customer satisfaction and reduces product return rate. The findings provide distinct theoretical contributions and managerial implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-822
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Management Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • customer satisfaction
  • online sales
  • product returns
  • virtual fitting room
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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