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

In: E-commerce

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  • Michael D. Smith
  • Erik Brynjolfsson

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
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12319
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