When online retailers display customer recommendations next to their product descriptions, it can significantly increase the sales of these. This is the conclusion reached following a study undertaken by academics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt.
They conducted an experiment in cooperation with an online mail order company to determine whether product recommendations by customers have an impact on other customers' buying behavior. For this purpose, first-time visitors to the online shop www.spiele-offensive.de in early 2013 were randomly assigned to one of two possible groups.The treatment group was directed to product pages displaying social recommendations in a similar form like the thumbs-up "Like" button used by Facebook or the '+1' button used by Google+. No such customer recommendations were shown on the pages to which the members of the control group were directed. Following the four-week test phase, the shop registered an almost 13 percent higher rate of sales in the case of the group exposed to recommendations in comparison with the control group.
Petra Giegerich | idw
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