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Consumer Decision-Making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters

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  • Smith, Michael D
  • Brynjolfsson, Erik

Abstract

Internet shopbots compare prices and services levels at competing retailers, creating a laboratory for analysing consumer choice. We analyse 20,268 shopbot consumers who select various books from 33 retailers over 69 days. Although each retailer offers a homogeneous product, we find that brand is an important determinant of consumer choice. The three most heavily branded retailers hold a $1.72 price advantage over more generic retailers in head-to-head price comparisons. In particular, we find that consumers use brand as a proxy for retailer credibility in non-contractible aspects of the product and service bundle, such as shipping reliability. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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  • 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 541-558, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:49:y:2001:i:4:p:541-58
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