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 personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>