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 New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>