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Buying Online: Sequential Decision Making by Shopbot Visitors

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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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2008-10.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2008_10
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  1. Mandler, Michael & Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2008. "A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist," IZA Discussion Papers 3377, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
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