Online product recommendation agents (hereafter RAs) can provide important benefits to consumers. But whether consumers trust RAs and integrate an RA's recommendations into their product choices has not yet been examined. Nor has there been research on whether different levels of consumer participation in using RAs lead to different levels of trust in the RA. Using an experimental design that combined the benefits of a field study with those of a lab study, active consumer participation in using an RA was found to have increased consumers' trust in the RA, which in turn increased intentions to purchase based on the RA's recommendations. The study also proposed and found support for a trust transference process, hitherto not tested in the RA context, wherein trust in the website was a key driver for trust in its RA and the RA's recommendations. These findings extend the extant literature on RAs as well as research in offline contexts on consumer participation and the trust transference process. Managerial implications and directions for future research are also provided.
Dabholkar, P.A. and Sheng, X., 2012. Consumer participation and the trust transference process in using online recommendation agents. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 25, pp.96-117.
The Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior