Herding in online product choice

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that people are influenced by others when making decisions. This work presents three studies examining herding in product choices on the Internet. The first two studies addressed how two cues frequently found on the Internet, that is, sales volume and customer reviews, influence consumer on-line product choices. The third study examined the relative effectiveness of two recommendation sources. The experimental results revealed that subjects used the choices and evaluations of others as cues for making their own choices. However, herding effects are offset significantly by negative comments from others. Additionally, the recommendations of other consumers influence the choices of subjects more effectively than recommendations from an expert. Finally, implications of this work are discussed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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