Recommendations to Buy in Online Retailing and Their Acceptance

Recommendations to Buy in Online Retailing and Their Acceptance

Daniel Baier (Cottbus, Germany) and Eva Stüber (Cottbus, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-738-8.ch012
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Personal welcomings, individual assistance, as well as recommendations to inform and buy are becoming an integral part in online retailing. These new so-called personalization elements are assumed to increase the retailer’s share of wallet and the customer’s satisfaction. However, up to now only little is known about which external factors influence the customer’s acceptance of such personalization elements. This chapter discusses the forms of recommendations to buy and how their acceptance can be measured using the well-known Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) approach. An experiment is used, where volunteers are offered an online shopping experience with individually generated recommendations to buy. The experiment shows how high the acceptance of the generated recommendations is and how close this acceptance is connected to the quality and shopping relevance of the recommendations. Even though the results are limited to the specific recommendation types used, they give important implications for an adequate design of modern online shops.
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Background: Recommendations To Buy In Online Retailing

Online Shopping

Online shopping – from the sellers point of view – is usually defined as “an example of a direct electronic channel linking sellers and customers” that “allows customers to select and purchase product items over an interactive electronic medium, typically through interactive television or the internet” (Chau et al. 2000). Since the electronic channel linking reduces the possibilities for the seller to demonstrate the solidity and the capabilities of the products and the sales organization, trust (Gefen et al. 2003) and content (Chau et al. 2000) play an important role in the shoppers selection and buying process.

Here, with respect to content and trust, gender is assumed to have an influence. Women are assumed to be emotionally less gratified and have less satisfaction from online shopping than men (Comegys et al. 2006, Hansen, Møller-Jensen 2009). Men would also be more trusting than women and think that online shopping is more convenient (Comegys et al. 2006). Additionally, women perceive higher risks than men in online purchasing in both probabilities and consequences (Garbarino, Strahilevitz 2004).

However, as online shopping has increased both male and female portions, these differences seem to get less and less important (Hansen, Møller-Jensen 2009). Now, more and more websites and online shops are more frequently used by women than men. So, e.g., in online clothes shopping, women are far more active than men. Consequently, for all online shops, an adequate placement of trustworthy electronic recommendations can play an essential role in the competition between on- and offline shops.

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