In their purchase decisions, online customers seek to improve decision quality while limiting search efforts. In practice, many merchants have understood the importance of helping customers in the decision-making process and provide online decision aids to their visitors. In this paper, we show how preference models which are common in conjoint analysis can be leveraged to design a questionnaire-based decision aid that elicits customers' preferences based on simple demographics, product usage, and self-reported preference questions. Such a system can offer relevant recommendations quickly and with minimal customer input. We compare three algorithms-cluster classification, Bayesian treed regression, and stepwise componential regression-to develop an optimal sequence of questions and predict online visitors' preferences. In an empirical study, stepwise componential regression, relying on many fewer and easier-to-answer questions, achieved predictive accuracy equivalent to a traditional conjoint approach.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management