The Influence of Social Presence on Customer Intention to Reuse Online Recommender Systems: The Roles of Personalization and Product Type

Jaewon Choi, Hong Joo Lee, and Yong Cheol Kim
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 16 Number 1, Fall 2011, pp. 129-153.

Abstract: Providing recommendations is acknowledged to be an important feature of a business-to-consumer online storefront. Although many studies have examined the algo- rithms and operational procedures relevant to personalized recommender systems, empiri- cal evidence demonstrating relationships between social presence and two important outcomes of evaluating recommender systems—reuse intention and trust—remains lacking. To test the existence of a causal link between social presence and reuse intention, and the mediating role of trust between these two variables, this study conducted experiments varying the level of social presence while providing personalized recommendations to users based on their explicit preferences. This study also compared these effects in two different product contexts: hedonic and utilitarian. The results show that greater social presence increases both reuse intention and trust in the recommender systems. Moreover, the influence of social presence on reuse intention with respect to utilitarian products is less than that with respect to hedonic products.

Key Words and Phrases: Personalization, recommender systems, social presence.