Dec 7: Kartik Hosanagar to present on Will the Global Village Fracture into Tribes: Recommender Systems and their Effects on Consumers

Kartik Hosanagar
Associate Professor, OIM Dept
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

December 7, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am
Seminar Title : Will the Global Village Fracture into Tribes: Recommender Systems and their Effects on Consumers

Abstract
Personalization is becoming ubiquitous on the World Wide Web. Such systems use statistical techniques to infer a customer’s preferences and recommend content best suited to him (e.g., “Customers who liked this also liked…”). A debate has emerged as to whether personalization has drawbacks. By making the web hyper-specific to our interests, does it fragment internet users, reducing shared experiences and narrowing media consumption? We study whether personalization is in fact fragmenting the online population. Surprisingly, it does not appear to do so in our study. Personalization appears to be a tool that helps users widen their interests, which in turn creates commonality with others. This increase in commonality occurs for two reasons, which we term volume and product mix effects. The volume effect is that consumers simply consume more after personalized recommendations, increasing the chance of having more items in common. The product mix effect is that, conditional on volume, consumers buy a more similar mix of products after recommendations.

Please click here for a copy of the paper

Eric Clemons to speak on How Information Changes Consumer Behavior And How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy

How Information Changes Consumer Behavior And How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy

Eric Clemons

Professor of Operations and Information Management
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

November 6, 2009

Alter Hall 405, 1000am – 1130am

Abstract

Information availability has increased consumers’ informedness, the degree to which they know what is available in the marketplace, with precisely which attributes and at precisely what price. This informedness has altered the demand side of market behavior: customers now discount more heavily when comparable products are available from competitors and when products do not meet their wants, needs, cravings and longings, but they no longer discount as heavily when purchasing unfamiliar products. Changes in the demand side are producing comparable changes in the supply side: firms earn less than their expectations when competing in traditional mass market fat spots, while earning far more than previously when entering newly created resonance marketing sweet spots. We trace the impact of hyperdifferentiation and resonance marketing on strategy, with a clear progression from a limited number of fat spots, through reliance upon line extensions, and ultimately to fully differentiated market sweet spots.

For a copy of the full paper, click here.