Digitizing Offline Search: An Empirical Analysis of Mobile Search Behavior in Offline Shopping

47 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015 Last revised: 23 Dec 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: December 23, 2020

Abstract

Mobile devices have become increasingly important in the context of consumers’ offline search and shopping behavior. This paper theorizes and tests the impact of consumers’ real-time geographic location on their search behavior when shopping offline. More specifically, we develop two location-specific measures, (1) present store distance and (2) present store density, to investigate the effects on the depth and breadth of search. We test our hypotheses using a unique data set of a leading mobile product information app that includes 67 million unique search activities of 2.5 million consumers searching for 1.8 million different products. We find that search depth decreases with increasing present store distance and increases with increasing present store density. In addition, search breadth increases with increasing present store distance and increasing present store density. Finally, durable products mitigate the relationships of distance and density with search depth but amplify their relationships with search breadth. These results help retailers and brands to gain a better understand of consumers’ location-specific product preferences, which can be used for more precise mobile ad targeting, local product assortment and (pop-up) store location decisions.

Keywords: Consumer Search, Retailing, Location-Based Services, Big Data, Random Coefficient Model

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 Mobile Search Behavior in Offline Shopping (December 23, 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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