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The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of online real-time interactivity on the desire of users to visit and to purchase products/services from the company in the future. Online real-time interactivity has been increased by the use of avatars. We also investigated the antecedents of online real-time interactivity by focusing on trust, emotional appeal, and social presence. As far as the methodology is concerned, we designated companies using avatars on their websites. We asked respondents to visit these websites and then fill in our questionnaire. We received 945 questionnaires back. As we had several latent variables, we used partial least squares (PLS), a variance-based structural equation modeling method. The results show that online real-time interactivity significantly increases the patronage intention. The results also illustrate the impact of the degree of trust and the emotional appeal on user's perception about the online real-time interactivity. Nevertheless, the impact of the emotional appeal is less relevant compared to the degree of trust. Moreover, the degree of trust in the information found on the website explains user's emotional appeal during the conversation. Finally, avatar's social presence has a significant impact on trust and emotional appeal. Our results have immediate and direct implications for avatars' developers and companies who want to invest in improving the real-time interactivity of their website.

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