Complements Are Warm and Substitutes Are Competent: The Effect of Recommendation Type on Focal Product Evaluation

32 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2018

See all articles by Yunhui Huang

Yunhui Huang

Nanjing University - School of Business

Jiang Wu

Nanjing University - School of Business

Zhijie Lin

Tsinghua University

Date Written: June 1, 2018

Abstract

Previous research has largely ignored how online recommendation systems may affect the evaluation of focal products. Three studies show when and why complement-based recommendations may lead to more (less) favorable evaluation of a focal product than substitute-based recommendations. Study 1 demonstrates a general ‚Äúcomplementation-warmth & competition-competence‚ÄĚ association. Study 2 applies this association to online retailing contexts and finds that when a focal product has a warm (competent) image, complement-based (substitute-based) recommendations lead customers to evaluate it more favorably than substitute-based (complement-based) recommendations. Study 3 further demonstrates that processing fluency mediates the above effect.

Keywords: recommendation type; product image; congruency; processing fluency; customer response

Suggested Citation

Huang, Yunhui and Wu, Jiang and Lin, Zhijie, Complements Are Warm and Substitutes Are Competent: The Effect of Recommendation Type on Focal Product Evaluation (June 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188925

Yunhui Huang (Contact Author)

Nanjing University - School of Business ( email )

22 Hankou Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093 210093
China

Jiang Wu

Nanjing University - School of Business ( email )

22 Hankou Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093 210093
China

Zhijie Lin

Tsinghua University ( email )

Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100084
China

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