Ordering Effects and Belief Adjustment in the Use of Comparison Shopping Agents
Keywords:comparison shopping agents, belief-adjustment, ordering, experimentation, eCommerce
The popularity of online shopping has contributed to the development of comparison shopping agents (CSAs) aiming to facilitate buyers' ability to compare prices of online stores for any desired product. Furthermore, the plethora of CSAs in today's markets enables buyers to query more than a single CSA when shopping, thus expanding even further the list of sellers whose prices they obtain. This potentially decreases the chance of a purchase based on the prices outputted as a result of any single query, and consequently decreases each CSAs' expected revenue per-query. Obviously, a CSA can improve its competence in such settings by acquiring more sellers' prices, potentially resulting in a more attractive ``best price''. In this paper we suggest a complementary approach that improves the attractiveness of a CSA by presenting the prices to the user in a specific intelligent manner, which is based on known cognitive-biases.The advantage of this approach is its ability to affect the buyer's tendency to terminate her search for a better price, hence avoid querying further CSAs, without having the CSA spend any of its resources on finding better prices to present.The effectiveness of our method is demonstrated using real data, collected from four CSAs for five products. Our experiments with people confirm that the suggested method effectively influence people in a way that is highly advantageous to the CSA.