Main Psychological Sequence of Responses Linked to the Consumer’s Use of an e-Vendor’s Recommender
Studies on e-commerce recommendation systems with a focus on marketing and, specifically, on consumers and their decision-making, are harder to find. Nevertheless, this approach is important to gaining an understanding of the adoption and use of e-commerce. We focus on the chain of psychological outcomes linked to an e-vendor’s RS that emerge once such a system is adopted and used to support an online shopping process and possible purchase. As a basis for our approach, we use the theoretical proposal by Martínez-López et al. (2010) for this purpose. In particular, we consider a sequence of four psychological variables with reference to which it is posited that consumers’ perceived performance of an online store’s recommendation system (RS) and their satisfaction with it have an influence on their willingness to purchase with the support of such a system’s suggestions. Other direct antecedent variables are considered too, taken from classic and novel consumer behaviour theories applied to online shopping environments. However, this interesting sequence of psychological responses has yet to be empirically tested.
Our model is based on the integrative, theoretical model proposed by Martínez-López et al. (2010). It works with a set of four constructs as psychological responses related to the use of an e-vendor’s RS: the consumer’s perception of the RS’s performance; satisfaction with the RS; willingness to buy a searched item based on the RS’s recommendation; and finally, willingness to make a cross/add-on purchase based on the system’s suggestions. Furthermore, three antecedents are included for such responses.
In order to test the structural model, based on the same reasons presented above, we applied a RWLS method. Model fit indices were generally quite satisfactory. The estimation of the model’s structural coefficients showed all our hypotheses to be significant, with the exception of H10. The results showed that there is no direct relationship (although there is an indirect relationship through the predisposition of the consumer to purchase) between the user’s satisfaction with the RS-WS and his/her predisposition to make a crossed purchase or a more expensive purchase. In other words, individuals who are satisfied with the RS are generally more inclined to purchase what the system recommends in relation to their primary search object, but they will not be more inclined to purchase products/services outside their primary shopping goal, related to add-on selling suggestions. To be specific, consumers will only be more inclined to purchase add-on products to their primary shopping goal (i.e. cross/up selling) when they intend to follow the recommendations of the RS in relation to their initial search. This is when they are willing to accept and follow other suggestions made by the recommender about other products that complement their initial shopping goal or are more expensive.
KeywordsOnline store Consumer Responses to recommendation system Psychological perspective
- Martinez-López, F.J., Rodríguez-Ardura, I., Gázquez-Abad, J.C., Sánchez-Franco, M.J., and Cabal, C.C. (2010). “Psychological elements explaining the consumer’s adoption and use of a web site recommendation system: a theoretical framework proposal”, Internet Research, 20(3), 316–341.Google Scholar