Complements Are Warm and Substitutes Are Competent: The Effect of Recommendation Type on Focal Product Evaluation
32 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 1, 2018
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 “complementation-warmth & competition-competence” 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
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