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Shopping Cost and Brand Exploration in Online Grocery

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  • Andrea Pozzi

Abstract

This paper compares consumers' brand exploration when shopping online versus in a brick-and-mortar store. I use a new scanner dataset to compare the behavior of households shopping online and in-store at the same chain, for identical items and prices. I find that brand exploration is more prevalent in-store. My model quantifies the role of features of e-commerce, like the existence of "favorites lists" and the difficulty in verifying item quality. Limited exploration online implies higher barriers to entry on the Internet channel. Counterfactual exercises suggest that online advertising could make the Internet channel more competitive. (JEL D12, L11, L81, M31, M37)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 96-120

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:96-120

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.3.96
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  1. Aviv Nevo & Catherine Wolfram, 2002. "Why Do Manufacturers Issue Coupons? An Empirical Analysis of Breakfast Cereals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 319-339, Summer.
  2. Ginger Zhe Jin & Andrew Kato, 2007. "Dividing Online and Offline: A Case Study," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 981-1004.
  3. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, 06.
  4. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "Competition in the Computer Industry: Online Versus Retail," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 487-499 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555.
  6. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
  7. Il-Horn Hann & Christian Terwiesch, 2003. "Measuring the Frictional Costs of Online Transactions: The Case of a Name-Your-Own-Price Channel," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1563-1579, November.
  8. Gregory Lewis, 2011. "Asymmetric Information, Adverse Selection and Online Disclosure: The Case of eBay Motors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1535-46, June.
  9. Burke, Raymond R, et al, 1992. " Comparing Dynamic Consumer Choice in Real and Computer-Simulated Environments," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 71-82, June.
  10. Scherer, F M, 1979. "The Welfare Economics of Product Variety: An Application to the Ready-to-Eat Cereals Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 113-34, December.
  11. Barry L. Bayus, 1992. "Brand Loyalty and Marketing Strategy: An Application to Home Appliances," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(1), pages 21-38.
  12. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
  13. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:257-275 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Lesley Chiou, 2009. "Empirical Analysis of Competition between Wal-Mart and Other Retail Channels," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 285-322, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Pozzi, Andrea, 2013. "E-commerce as a stockpiling technology: Implications for consumer savings," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 677-689.
  2. Andrea Pozzi, 2011. "Who Is Hurt by E-Commerce? Crowding out and Business Stealing in Online Grocery," EIEF Working Papers Series 1114, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2011.
  3. Ribeiro, Ricardo, 2010. "Consumer demand for variety: intertemporal effects of consumption, product switching and pricing policies," MPRA Paper 25812, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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