Investigating the Impacts of Recommendation Agents on Impulsive Purchase Behaviour

Hui Zhu, School of Management, Guangzhou University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Zherui Yang, School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
Carol XJ Ou, Department of Management, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Hongwei Liu, School of Management, Guangzhou University of Technology, China
Robert M. Davison, Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


The usage of recommendation agents (RAs) in the online marketplace can help consumers to locate their desired products. RAs can help consumers effectively obtain comprehensive product information and compare their candidate target products. As a result, RAs have affected consumers’ shopping behaviour. In this study, we investigate the usage and the influence of RAs in the online marketplace. Based on the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) model, we propose that the stimulus of using RAs (informativeness, product search effectiveness and the lack of sociality stress) can affect consumers’ attitude (perceived control and satisfaction), which further affects their behavioural outcomes like impulsive purchase. We validate this research model with survey data from 157 users of RAs. The data largely support the proposed model and indicate that the RAs can significantly contribute to impulsive purchase behaviour in online marketplaces. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed.