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.
Internet Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 3, 2015
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