DP6939 | Buying Online: Sequential Decision Making by Shopbot Visitors

Publication Date

15/08/2008

JEL Code(s)

Keyword(s)

Programme Area(s)

Abstract

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.