Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Recommendations by other customers significantly influence Internet purchasing behavior

18.11.2014

Customer endorsement has the most prominent effect on private online purchasing activity

The online purchasing behavior of private individuals shopping in their leisure time is heavily influenced by recommendations made by other customers. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt.

Customer endorsements, in the form of Facebook 'Likes' for example, have a particularly marked influence on online buying behavior when consumers shop in the afternoon, evening, or at the weekend. There are certain economic theories concerning consumer attitudes to purchasing that, in the view of the researchers, can help explain this phenomenon.

This involves the so-called 'hedonistic' buying behavior, in which purchasing is not a pragmatic process and also comparatively more time-consuming. The implication is that the recommendations made by other customers can influence and guide the 'hedonistic' shopper in their search for new and interesting products. During normal working hours before 3.00 pm, 'Likes' are far less influential as purchasers are usually working through a concrete shopping list.

Online retail is booming. The sector now generates annual world-wide revenues of about 1 trillion US dollars. A previous study by the research team headed by business informatics specialist Dr. Jörn Grahl of Mainz University demonstrated that online purchasing behavior is heavily influenced by the recommendations made by other customers.

In the study with a duration of almost four weeks that involved a toy and game mail order company, the display of social network endorsements such as the Facebook 'Like' thumbs-up sign and the '+1' button in Google+ resulted in a 13 percent increase in sales in the test group in comparison with a control group. "In view of the enormous revenues now being generated online, it is possible that 'Likes' and other user-generated content are responsible for triggering herd behavior-like effects that may be of more general economic relevance," said Professor Franz Rothlauf of Mainz University’s Gutenberg School of Management and Economics.

More recent investigations have shown that this boost to turnover is primarily caused by Internet users’ leisure time purchases. The researchers discovered that, when people were shopping online in their free time, social media recommendations made a purchase 18 percent more likely while spending increased by almost 26 percent. "Endorsements provided by other Internet users thus have an enormous influence on hedonistic shopping and impulse purchasing," explained Grahl.

Information and recommendations on social media reinforce recreational and self-indulgent buying behavior. "When it comes to planned or targeted purchases, other people's opinions play hardly any role at all," said Professor Oliver Hinz of TU Darmstadt. During the day and early afternoon, i.e., during the main working hours when users have little time to browse, Facebook 'Likes' and Google’s '+1' have next to no effect on purchasing intentions. The study was undertaken with the collaboration of Spiele-Offensive.de, a medium-sized online games mail order company selling board and party games.

Further information:
Dr. Jörn Grahl
Information Systems & Business Administration
Gutenberg School of Management and Economics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-27209
fax +49 6131 39-22185
e-mail: grahl@uni-mainz.de
http://wi.bwl.uni-mainz.de/grahl.html.en


Weitere Informationen:

http://www.emarkets.tu-darmstadt.de/forschung/working-paper-series/  – article "The Impact of User-Generated Content on Sales: A Randomized Field Experiment" ;
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/16465_ENG_HTML.php  – press release "Facebook recommendations could be worth millions of euros" - June 3, 2013

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>