“59% of customers believe that reviews influence their buying behavior.”
(Xu et. al, 2015)
….You can only imagine the influence reviews have on product sales and what a valuable asset they are to businesses!
Especially for experience goods, the generation of reviews ensures quality and provides social control. Throughout the past weeks, the elective on ‘customer-centric digital commerce’ has shed light on the underlying motivations of users to post reviews, the possibilities to structure them and how (not) to respond to them. We have realized that format and style can have significant effects on consumers’ perceptions and buying behavior.
Continue reading The future of reviewing: Videos!
(This blog post is based on the research article ‘A social recommender mechanism for e-commerce: Combining similarity, trust, and relationship’ by Li, Wu and Lai, 2013)
In a world where there is not only a massive selection of different products but also the internet that enables us to theoretically choose among all those offerings without the high search costs that have hindered us from an informed choice in the past, the problem of information overload is a challenge for both the consumers and the companies offering those products (Li, Kauffman, Van Heck, Vervest and Dellaert, 2014). As explained by Murray and Häubl (2009), especially in the e-commerce environment, good recommender systems (RS) that aid the consumer in finding the right product are becoming increasingly important, ensuring a higher consumer satisfaction and increased sales for the offering companies (Li, Wu and Lai, 2013). Even though good RSs exist in the market (such as Amazon’s collaborative item-to-item filtering mechanism or Netflix’s hybrid model of collaborative and content based filtering (Jones, 2013)), it seems that today’s RSs fall behind what should be technically possible. Thus, Li et al. (2013) suggest a new RS that does not only take a customer’s past behavior into account but adds a social component that would greatly increase the information available to the system and thus improve its prediction accuracy. An important drawback of today’s RSs mentioned by Li et al. (2013) is that the platforms utilizing RSs are independently operated and only use the data obtained within the boundaries of their respective platform. Real value, however, could be obtained when integrating the data of various different platforms and adding the social component of the social network of a consumer to the recommendations shown on an e-commerce platform. In real life, after all, we also tend to ask our friends for advice when shopping and especially in cliques of close friends, the shopping behavior of individuals potentially influences the shopping behavior of the others (Li et al., 2013; Shang, Hui, Kulkarni and Cuff, 2011). Continue reading Are cross-platform social recommender systems the future?