Digitizing Offline Search: An Empirical Analysis of Search Behavior on the Mobile Internet

58 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015 Last revised: 22 Nov 2018

See all articles by Dominik Molitor

Dominik Molitor

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business

Stephan Daurer

DHBW Ravensburg; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management)

Martin Spann

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management)

Puneet Manchanda

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: November 22, 2018

Abstract

Smartphones change the way consumers search and also provide new opportunities to measure consumer search. While smartphones have facilitated access to product information by providing Internet access anywhere and at any time, very little is known about whether and how smartphones have changed the way consumers search for product information. In this paper, we study these unique aspects of mobile search behavior by defining novel mobile search measures as well as by using established measures of search based on search breadth and depth. Analyzing search behavior of 2.5 million consumers for 1.8 million different products from a leading European product information and bar code-scanning app, we find that consumers search for more detailed information about specific products (search depth), but rarely compare between different competing products using their smartphones (search breadth). However, both search breadth and depth on mobile are lower than reported in the previous literature. Our results also suggest that consumers search at all times and locations and that most searches are conducted far away from stores. Finally, our mobile search measures based on previous distances to stores as well as store densities are highly predictive of consumers’ future visits in store proximity. We discuss the implications of our findings for firms.

Keywords: Consumer Search, Mobile Marketing, Consideration Sets, Location-Based Services, Big Data

JEL Classification: M31, D83, C23, C25, L86

Suggested Citation

Molitor, Dominik and Daurer, Stephan and Spann, Martin and Manchanda, Puneet, Digitizing Offline Search: An Empirical Analysis of Search Behavior on the Mobile Internet (November 22, 2018). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1275. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603242 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2603242

Dominik Molitor

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business

113 West 60th Street
Bronx, NY 10458
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dominikmolitor.com

Stephan Daurer (Contact Author)

DHBW Ravensburg

Marienplatz 2
Ravensburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg 88212
Germany
+49.751.18999.2700 (Phone)
+49.751.18999.2701 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dhbw-ravensburg.de/

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management)

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, Bavaria 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.en.bwl.uni-muenchen.de

Martin Spann

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management) ( email )

Ludwigstr. 28
Munich, 80539
Germany

Puneet Manchanda

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-936-2445 (Phone)
734-936-8716 (Fax)

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