According to a new study, the answer is, "yes" and "no."
Raluca M. Ursu, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, conducted the research for the study, "The Power of Rankings: Quantifying the Effect of Rankings on Online Consumer Search and Purchase Decisions," which is published in the July edition of INFORMS journal Marketing Science.
Study - Products - Online - Rankings - Effect
The study found that products with high online rankings have a causal effect on what consumers search, but those rankings do not necessarily affect purchase decisions directly. Search intermediaries like Amazon and Expedia use rankings to influence purchases but only secondarily to their search decisions. The article emphasizes the importance of optimizing the search process, distinguishing it from assumptions that consumers are likely to make purchase decisions solely on a product's or service's high rankings.
In conducting her research, Ursu analyzed rankings and search data from a field experiment at Expedia, where she sought to clarify the causal effect of rankings on consumer search and purchase decisions. She then sought to quantify the effect of rankings on consumer search costs, and in the end, to show how rankings built on her research model's estimates can benefit consumers in the future.
Rankings - Causal - Effect - Consumer - Choices
"Constructing relevant rankings requires understanding of their causal effect on consumer choices," said Ursu. "For search intermediaries like Amazon and Expedia, measuring the causal impact...
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