Alex Mari (University of Zurich), Andreina Mandelli (SDA Bocconi) and René Algesheimer (University of Zurich) are the recipients of the Stanley C. Hollander Award for Best Retailing Paper by the Academy of Marketing Science for the manuscript “Shopping with Voice Assistants: How Empathy Affects Decision-Making Outcomes”.

The paper, developed within the University Research Priority Program Social Networks, was awarded during the Academy of Marketing Science Annual Conference in Monterey, CA, where over 400 international scholars presented their latest academic research in the field of marketing.

The Stanley C. Hollander Best Retailing Paper Award is awarded to the best full paper on a topic related to retailing or service marketing. Papers are nominated for the award by reviewers through the competitive review process.


The winning work explores how artificial intelligence-based voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, increasingly assisting shopping decisions and exhibiting empathic behavior, affect consumers’ responses and influence decision-making outcomes.

The authors developed a comprehensive model and found an increase in consumers’ perceptions, beliefs and behavioral intentions when Alexa shows empathic abilities. As predicted, these positive responses to empathic voice assistants hold constant in social shopping settings (family). In addition, an interaction effect shows that families respond better to the functional attributes of empathic voice assistants (e.g., ease of use and usefulness), while individuals show a greater response to standard voice assistants.

We congratulate our team members on the prestigious international recognition.

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