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Shopping Cart Abandonment in Online Shopping

/ L.S. Egeln, J.A. Joseph

Shopping cart abandonment in online shopping is a growing concern for retailers because it represents lost sales. This study looks at perceived risk and perceived ownership in relation to shopping cart abandonment. It is hypothesized that perceived risk in intended behavior will affect actual purchase behavior and perceived ownership in intended behavior will positively affect perceived ownership in actual behavior. It is believed that decreasing risk will also decrease cart abandonment and increasing ownership will increase transaction completion therefore decreasing cart abandonment. A survey was administered and results showed that the most common perceived risk in abandoning the cart was financial risk. Results showed that there was a significant correlation between perceived ownership in intended behavior and actual purchase behavior however, 33% of the respondents indicated that they were likely to abandon the cart even with a sense of ownership.

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Smart marketing or bait & switch: competitors' brands as keywords in online advertising

/ Mark A. Rosso, Bernard J. Jansen

The business models of major Internet search engines depend on online advertising, primarily in the form of search engine keyword advertising. In recent years, a controversy surrounding keyword advertising has gained notoriety worldwide, in both the international court systems and the media. It concerns a form of potential "bait and switch" advertising where a consumer, searching using the brand name of one company, is presented with an advertisement by a competitor of the searched-for brand. Sometimes, this competitor's ad copy contains the name of the searched for brand as well. This practice has been referred to as "piggybacking". Given the particular need for consumer trust in ecommerce, one might question the overall value of piggybacking. In the U.S. in particular, the legality of this practice, and the potential liability of the search engines for contributing to trademark infringement, is unclear. However, the eventual resolutions of the issue by the U.S. and international courts could significantly and negatively impact the business model of Internet search engines. In this paper, the actual prevalence of piggybacking of major brands in U.S. search engines is investigated. One hundred search queries consisting solely of one of the 100 top global brand names were submitted to three major search engines, Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's. Analysis of 8,345 results from the search engine results pages showed only 4 percent of sponsored ads triggered by competitors' trademarked terms. There was even lower use of trademark terms in ads by competitors. Thus, competitive piggybacking does not appear to be a widespread phenomenon. Possible explanations for this are discussed, and suggestions for future research are given.

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Social influence in social advertising: evidence from field experiments

/ Eytan Bakshy, Dean Eckles, Rong Yan, Itamar Rosenn

Social advertising uses information about consumers' peers, including peer affiliations with a brand, product, organization, etc., to target ads and contextualize their display. This approach can increase ad efficacy for two main reasons: peers' affiliations reflect unobserved consumer characteristics, which are correlated along the social network; and the inclusion of social cues (i.e., peers' association with a brand) alongside ads affect responses via social influence processes. For these reasons, responses may be increased when multiple social signals are presented with ads, and when ads are affiliated with peers who are strong, rather than weak, ties. We conduct two very large field experiments that identify the effect of social cues on consumer responses to ads, measured in terms of ad clicks and the formation of connections with the advertised entity. In the first experiment, we randomize the number of social cues present in word-of-mouth advertising, and measure how responses increase as a function of the number of cues. The second experiment examines the effect of augmenting traditional ad units with a minimal social cue (i.e., displaying a peer's affiliation below an ad in light grey text). On average, this cue causes significant increases in ad performance. Using a measurement of tie strength based on the total amount of communication between subjects and their peers, we show that these influence effects are greatest for strong ties. Our work has implications for ad optimization, user interface design, and central questions in social science research.

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Story-map: iPad companion for long form TV narratives

/ Janet Murray, Sergio Goldenberg, Kartik Agarwal, Tarun Chakravorty, Jonathan Cutrell, Abraham Doris-Down, Harish Kothandaraman

Long form TV narratives present multiple continuing characters and story arcs that last over multiple episodes and even over multiple seasons. Writers increasingly take pride in creating coherent and persistent story worlds with recurring characters and references to backstory. Since viewers may join the story at different points and different levels of commitment, they need support to orient them to the fictional world, to remind them of plot threads, and to allow them to review important story sequences across episodes. Using the affordances of the digital medium we can create navigation patterns and auxiliary information streams to minimize confusion and maximize immersion in the story world. In our application, the iPad is used as a secondary screen to create a character map synchronized with the TV content, and to support navigation of story threads across episodes.

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Supporting an ecosystem: from the biting baby to the old spice man

/ Tom J. Broxton, Olga Khroustaleva

As YouTube evolves we look at how content creators thrive within the ecosystem, what motivates them, and how they get the best results. We also investigate how patterns of media consumption change in an engagement-driven environment, built upon a mix of existing and web-original content, available across platforms and devices. These changes in creator and viewer expectations prompt video advertisers to rethink what effectiveness means in this new space, where a biting baby can get more attention than a high-cost video. How do lessons learned through years of TV and display advertising and research translate to the paradigm of active social engagement?

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Increasing message relevance in social networks via context-based routing

/ Vasiliki Pouli, John S. Baras, Anastasios Arvanitis

Several applications are built around sharing information by leveraging social network connections. For example, in social buying sites like Groupon, a deal is usually forwarded to interested recipients through their social graph. A primary goal is to improve user satisfaction by maximizing the relevance of the shared message to the target audience. In this work, we address this problem by proposing a context-based routing approach that exploits both user preferences and the network structure aiming at enhancing the relevance of forwarded messages and ensuring that each message will be delivered to the most interested users.

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Information search and consideration set formation in a web-based store environment

/ G. Punj, R. Moore

The research reported here attempts to understand information search and consideration set formation in a web-based choice environment. A conceptual model is used to propose hypotheses that link information search and consideration set formation with two task environment influences that are typical of online settings. A study that simulates information search and consideration set formation in a web-based choice environment is conducted to test the hypotheses. The results offer insights into how the number of available alternatives and the amount of time available may have an effect on search and evaluation in a web-based store. The research has implications for understanding how consumers shop in online stores.

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Linking people through physical proximity in a conference

/ Alvin Chin, Bin Xu, Hao Wang, Xia Wang

Past research has studied offline proximity such as co-location and online social connections such as friendship individually. People form social relationships based on certain characteristics they possess, called social selection. When people change their social behavior due to interaction with others, social influence is at work. However, few researchers have examined the relationship that exists between offline proximity and online social connection, and the transitions from offline to online and vice versa (O2O). To study this problem, we created a system for finding and connecting with people at a conference that uses offline proximity encounters in order to help attendees meet and connect with each other. Using data where our system was deployed at two conferences, we discover that for social selection, more proximity interactions will result in an increased probability for a person to add another as a social connection (friend, follower or exchanged contact). However, after the social connections are established, more online social interactions result in a decreased duration and frequency of offline interactions between the connected users and social influence is weak. These results are just the first step in understanding how O2O interactions can help link people together, improve friend recommendations, and improve overall user experience.

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Of joy and gender: emotional expression in online social networks

/ Funda Kivran-Swaine, Sam Brody, Nicholas Diakopoulos, Mor Naaman

In this study, we analyzed the language use on Twitter personal exchanges as well as properties of the users' networks, to study the influence of gender composition on expressions of positive emotions while controlling for the strength of connection between the conversing users. Our findings show that compared to men, women express positive emotions more, especially when interacting with other women. Our findings help the understanding of gender-driven communication patterns in social media, and offer insights for the study of emotion and language.

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Post-click conversion modeling and analysis for non-guaranteed delivery display advertising

/ Rómer Rosales, Haibin Cheng, Eren Manavoglu

In on-line search and display advertising, the click-trough rate (CTR) has been traditionally a key measure of ad/campaign effectiveness. More recently, the market has gained interest in more direct measures of profitability, one early alternative is the conversion rate (CVR). CVRs measure the proportion of certain users who take a predefined, desirable action, such as a purchase, registration, download, etc.; as compared to simply page browsing. We provide a detailed analysis of conversion rates in the context of non-guaranteed delivery targeted advertising. In particular we focus on the post-click conversion (PCC) problem or the analysis of conversions after a user click on a referring ad. The key elements we study are the probability of a conversion given a click in a user/page context, P(conversion | click, context). We provide various fundamental properties of this process based on contextual information, formalize the problem of predicting PCC, and propose an approach for measuring attribute relevance when the underlying attribute distribution is non-stationary. We provide experimental analyses based on logged events from a large-scale advertising platform.

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