An exploratory study examining intra-site advertising and its effect on the online user experience

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Bright, Laura Frances

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For the purposes of this research, interactivity is defined as the degree to which a given website element can communicate quickly, effectively, and synchronously with its users (Steuer, 1992). The website element that is the focus of this research is intra-site advertising, a persuasion tool used by digital designers to advertise a company's offerings within its own website, hoping to increase information flow therein. Although considerable research attention has been paid to the construct of interactivity, most of this has focused on specific interactive advertisements and websites and how those affect consumer attitudes and behaviors. So far, little attention has been paid to how websites can improve information flow within themselves using advertising persuasion as a tool. Using a survey research design, this research will investigate if intra-site advertising can be used to increase information flow, specifically on travel destination websites. A total of 300 University of Texas students participated in this survey research. For those study participants who indicated viewing the intra-site advertising (41.4% / n=109) during the website navigation procedure, the majority found it to be worthwhile in terms of helping find website information in a non-intrusive manner. Building on these results, future research in this area should investigate the effects of interactivity, location, and congruency of intra-site advertising on online consumer behavior.



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