Providing recommendations is acknowledged as an important feature of a business-to-consumer online storefront. Although many studies have been conducted the algorithms and operational procedures relating to personalized recommender systems, empirical 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 levels 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 products. Interactions of social presence and customer reviews were also investigated in these experiments. The results show that higher social presence increases both reuse intention and trust in recommender systems. In addition, the influence of social presence on reuse intention in the context of recommending utilitarian products is less than that in the context of recommending hedonic products.
Choi, Jaewon; Lee, Hong Joo; and Kim, Yong Cheol, "THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL PRESENCE ON EVALUATING PERSONALIZED RECOMMENDER SYSTEMS" (2009). PACIS 2009 Proceedings. 49.