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Predicting Online Purchasing Behavior



This empirical study investigates the contribution of different types of predictors to the purchasing behaviour at an online store. We use logit modelling to predict whether or not a purchase is made during the next visit to the website using both forward and backward variable-selection techniques, as well as Furnival and Wilson’s global score search algorithm to find the best subset of predictors. We contribute to the literature by using variables from four different categories in predicting online-purchasing behaviour: (1) general clickstream behaviour at the level of the visit, (2) more detailed clickstream information, (3) customer demographics, and (4) historical purchase behaviour. The results show that predictors from all four categories are retained in the final (best subset) solution indicating that clickstream behaviour is important when determining the tendency to buy. We clearly indicate the contribution in predictive power of variables that were never used before in online purchasing studies. Detailed clickstream variables are the most important ones in classifying customers according to their online purchase behaviour. In doing so, we are able to highlight the advantage of e-commerce retailers of being able to capture an elaborate list of customer information.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 03/195.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:03/195
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  1. D. Van Den Poel & B. Larivière, 2003. "Customer Attrition Analysis For Financial Services Using Proportional Hazard Models," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/164, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. David C. Schmittlein & Robert A. Peterson, 1994. "Customer Base Analysis: An Industrial Purchase Process Application," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 41-67.
  3. Baesens, Bart & Viaene, Stijn & Van den Poel, Dirk & Vanthienen, Jan & Dedene, Guido, 2002. "Bayesian neural network learning for repeat purchase modelling in direct marketing," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 191-211, April.
  4. Buckinx, Wouter & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2005. "Customer base analysis: partial defection of behaviourally loyal clients in a non-contractual FMCG retail setting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 164(1), pages 252-268, July.
  5. Van den Poel, Dirk & Leunis, Joseph, 1999. "Consumer Acceptance of the Internet as a Channel of Distribution," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 249-256, July.
  6. Füsun Gönül & Meng Ze Shi, 1998. "Optimal Mailing of Catalogs: A New Methodology Using Estimable Structural Dynamic Programming Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1249-1262, September.
  7. Gerald Häubl & Valerie Trifts, 2000. "Consumer Decision Making in Online Shopping Environments: The Effects of Interactive Decision Aids," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(1), pages 4-21, May.
  8. Wu, Couchen & Chen, Hsiu-Li, 2000. "Counting your customers: Compounding customer's in-store decisions, interpurchase time and repurchasing behavior," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 109-119, November.
  9. B. Baesens & G. Verstraeten & D. Van Den Poel & M. Egmont-Petersen & P. Van Kenhove & J. Vanthienen, 2002. "Bayesian Network Classifiers for Identifying the Slope of the Customer - Lifecycle of Long-Life Customers," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 02/154, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
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