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Buying Online: Sequential Decision Making by Shopbot Visitors

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  • Dulleck, Uwe
  • Hackl, Franz
  • Weiss, Bernhard
  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

Abstract

In this article we propose a two stage procedure to model demand decisions by customers who are balancing several dimensions of a product. We then test our procedure by analyzing the behavior of buyers from an Austrian price comparison site. Although in such a market a consumer will typically search for the cheapest price for a given product, reliability and service of the supplier are other important characteristics of a retailer. In our data, consumers follow such a two stage procedure: they select a shortlist of suppliers by using the price variable only; finally, they trade off reliability and price among these shortlisted suppliers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6939.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6939

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Keywords: decision theory; e-commerce; heuristics; price comparison; seller reputation;

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References

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  1. Michael Mandler & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2008. "A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist," Working Papers 622, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  3. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  4. Smith, Michael D & Brynjolfsson, Erik, 2001. "Consumer Decision-Making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 541-58, December.
  5. Eliaz, Kfir & Ok, Efe A., 2006. "Indifference or indecisiveness? Choice-theoretic foundations of incomplete preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-86, July.
  6. Betancourt, Roger R. & Gautschi, David, 1993. "Two essential characteristics of retail markets and their economic consequences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 277-294, August.
  7. Michael Yee & Ely Dahan & John R. Hauser & James Orlin, 2007. "Greedoid-Based Noncompensatory Inference," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 532-549, 07-08.
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Cited by:
  1. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Ozbay, 2009. "Revealed Attention," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000409, www.najecon.org.

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