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 Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>