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Ryan McDevitt

Ryan McDevitt on The Effect of Social Interaction on Economic Transactions

August 11, 2016

Discussion Video

Ryan McDevittJoin us for our August 2016 Fuqua Faculty Conversation as Ryan McDevitt, Assistant Professor of Economics, presents:

The Effect of Social Interaction on Economic Transactions

Professor McDevitt studies how the social nature of a transaction influences what consumers purchase. To do so, he examined changes in two different retail formats that reduced a “social friction” that would otherwise inhibit consumers due to an implicit cost associated with ordering certain items in social settings, especially when those items might be embarrassing. He places these findings in the context of online transactions that require almost no social interaction, showing how firms might best respond to this phenomenon.

In this Fuqua Faculty Conversation, we will discuss:

  • How social interaction affects what consumers buy
  • How this effect has become more prominent given the increasing prevalence of online transactions
  • How firms can benefit from this insight

How have you seen social interactions affect consumer behavior? Have other insights into online consumer behavior? Join the conversation in the comments below or in the Fuqua alumni LinkedIn group.

Questions? Write to conversations@fuqua.duke.edu.

View Ryan McDevitt’s Bio

1 Comment

  1. Great research, Ryan, keep it coming! The reduction in social embarrassment is an unexpected, insightful angle on the impact of shifting consumer purchases online. One interesting side impact that comes to mind is that the companies who offer these online experiences need to be able to innovate quickly to bring their ideas online quickly.

    By any chance, do you know (or are you aware) of any similar research on other social interactions online that lead to improved economic transactions? For example, is there any research that shows the impact of online social influencers that leads to an uplift? Or how the use of product reviews or preferences can help convert a product into a subscription service (like Netflix or stitchfix)?

    Thanks again for sharing – looking forward to future conversations in this space.
    – Aly Gonenne
    Fuqua Daytime Program, Class of 2004

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