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

51 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015 Last revised: 27 Feb 2020

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: February 27, 2020

Abstract

Smartphones impact all stages of the customer journey and digitize consumers’ offline search by providing access to product information anywhere and at any time. However, very little is known about how smartphones impact the way consumers search for product information when shopping for offline products. We study the unique aspects of mobile search by analyzing the search behavior of 2.5 million consumers for 1.8 million different products from a leading product information app. We find that consumers search for more detailed information about specific products (search depth), but rarely compare between different products from the same category (search breadth). However, both search breadth and depth on smartphones are lower than reported in the previous literature. New mobile-specific search measures indicate that most search activities happen away from stores. Furthermore, we can show that the inclusion of mobile-specific search measures substantially improves the accuracy of predicting consumers’ trips to areas around retail stores.

Keywords: Consumer Search, 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 (February 27, 2020). 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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