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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Francisco J. Martínez-López, Irene Esteban-Millat, Ana Argila and Francisco Rejón-Guardia

Psychological perspective has been omitted or considered a secondary issue by past studies focused on e-commerce recommendation systems (RS). However, this perspective is…

Abstract

Purpose

Psychological perspective has been omitted or considered a secondary issue by past studies focused on e-commerce recommendation systems (RS). However, this perspective is key to gaining a better understanding of consumer behaviours when these systems are used to support purchasing processes at online stores. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The field study consisted of a simulated online shopping process undertaken by a sample of internet users with a recommender system at a real online store (Pixmania). The authors applied rigorous and detailed exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to assess the empirical validity of the model.

Findings

The proposed sequence of psychological outcomes is valid, with the exception of one hypothesized relationship. In particular, satisfaction with an online store’s recommender has a strong influence on a consumer’s willingness to purchase one of the items related to his/her shopping goal. However, this satisfaction has no direct effect on a consumer’s intention to make add-on purchases based on the recommender’s suggestions. On the contrary, the results support the idea that add-on purchases are conditioned by a previous purchase related to the consumer’s initial shopping goal. On the other hand, a consumer’s flow state while shopping improves all his/her psychological outcomes linked to an online store’s recommender. The influence of flow state is particularly interesting when seeking to gain a better understanding of consumers’ unplanned purchases based on the recommender’s suggestions. These findings have important implications for practitioners.

Originality/value

This paper discusses in detail and empirically test a set of psychological outcomes that emerge when an e-vendor’s recommender is used to assist a consumer’s shopping process. To the best of the knowledge, this is the first attempt that empirically tests most of the hypothesized relationships within an online store’s RS context.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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