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Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets

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  • Michael R. Baye

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

  • John Morgan

    (University of California at Berkeley)

Abstract

We model a homogeneous product environment where identical e-retailers endogenously engage in both brand advertising (to create loyal customers) and price advertising (to attract "shoppers"). Our analysis allows for "cross-channel" effects; indeed, we show that price advertising is a substitute for brand advertising. In contrast to models where loyalty is exogenous, these cross-channel effects lead to a continuum of symmetric equilibria; however, the set of equilibria converges to a unique equilibrium as the number of potential e-retailers grows arbitrarily large. Price dispersion is a key feature of all of these equilibria, including the limit equilibrium. While each firm finds it optimal to advertise its brand in an attempt to "grow" its base of loyal customers, in equilibrium, branding (1) reduces firm profits, (2) increases prices paid by loyals and shoppers, and (3) adversely affects gatekeepers operating price comparison sites. Branding also tightens the range of prices and reduces the value of the price information provided by a comparison site. Using data from a price comparison site, we test several predictions of the model.

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Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2005-08.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2005-08

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Keywords: Price dispersion;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Ornaghi, Carmine & Siotis, Georges, 2010. "Competition in the Pharmaceutical Industry: How do Quality Differences Shape Advertising Strategies?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8076, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Yonghong An & Michael R Baye & Yingyao Hu & John Morgan & Matt Shum, 2010. "Identification and Estimation of Online Price Competition with an Unknown Number of Firms," Working Papers 2010-17, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, revised Nov 2012.
  3. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709.
  4. Häring, Julia, 2005. "The Virtual Location of E-Tailers: Evidence from a B2C E-Commerce Market," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-52, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Michael R. Baye & Babur De los Santos & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2013. "Search Engine Optimization: What Drives Organic Traffic to Retail Sites?," Working Papers 2013-02, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  6. Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose L. & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2011. "Comparison sites," IESE Research Papers D/933, IESE Business School.
    • Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011. "Comparison Sites," Working Papers 2011-04, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  7. Mathur, Sameer & Sinitsyn, Maxim, 2013. "Price promotions in emerging markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 404-416.
  8. Ioana Chioveanu, 2005. "Advertising, Brand Loyalty and Pricing," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 639.05, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  9. Konrad, Kai A., 2010. "Merger profitability in industries with brand portfolios and loyal customers," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-08, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  10. Babur de los Santos, 2008. "Consumer Search on the Internet," Working Papers 2008-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  11. Michael R. Baye & Babur De los Santos & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "What's in a Name? Measuring Prominence, and its Impact on Organic Traffic from Search Engines," Working Papers 2012-09, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  12. Yonghong An & Michael R. Baye & Yingyao Hu & John Morgan & Matt Shum, 2010. "Horizontal Mergers of Online Firms: Structural Estimation and Competitive Effects," Economics Working Paper Archive 564, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

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