Interactive decision aids (IDAs) typically use concrete product feature-based approaches to interact with consumers. Recently however, interaction designs that focus on communicating abstract consumer needs have been suggested as a promising alternative. This article investigates how temporal distance moderates the effectiveness of these two competing IDA communication designs by its effect on consumers’ mental representation of the product decision problem. Temporal distance is inherently connected to IDAs in two ways. Congruency between consumption timing (immediate vs. distant) and IDA communication design (concrete vs. abstract, respectively) increases the likelihood to accept the IDA’s advice. This effect is also achieved by congruency between IDA process timing (immediate vs. delayed delivery of recommendations) and IDA communication design (concrete vs. abstract, respectively). We further show that this process is mediated by the perceived transparency of the IDA process. Managers and researchers need to take into account the importance of congruency between the user and the interface through which companies interact with their users and can further optimize IDAs so that they better match consumers’ mental representations.

construal level theory, consumer behavior, e-commerce, ida communication design, interactive decision aids
Statistical Decision Theory; Operations Research (jel C44), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Marketing (jel M31)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/21098
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Koehler, C.F, Breugelmans, E, & Dellaert, B.G.C. (2010). Consumer Acceptance of Recommendations by Interactive Decision Aids: The Joint Role of Temporal Distance and Concrete vs. Abstract Communications (No. ERS-2010-041-MKT). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/21098