Recommenders' Influence on Buyers' Decision Process
Online stores offer an increasingly large set of products. Interactive decision aids are becoming indispensable tools assisting users as they search for an ideal product to purchase. For an e-commerce website, adopting the correct tools can affect its survival: effective product recommender tools are increasingly recognized by online stores as effective means to sell more products; on the other hand, sites that do not employ intelligent tools will not only see poor purchase volumes but also experience less traffic because consumers are more likely to return to a site employing recommender systems. This paper presents ongoing research in understanding the impact of various decision aids on users' interaction behaviors and their subjective perceptions of these aids. In the current experiment, we employed an eye tracker in an in-depth user study to understand the influence of recommenders on how users select items for the basket set. We collected more than 20,300 fixation data points in 3,648 areas of interest. Our studies show that while users still rely on product filtering tools, the use of recommenders is becoming more prominent in helping them construct the basket set and is monotonically increasing as time goes on.