Information Acquisition During Online Decision-Making: A Model-Based Exploration Using Eye-Tracking Data

Management Science, 2013, 59(5), 1009-1026

Posted: 14 Apr 2017

See all articles by Savannah Wei Shi

Savannah Wei Shi

Santa Clara University

Michel Wedel

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business, Marketing Department; University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

F. G. M. (Rik) Pieters

Tilburg University, CentER

Date Written: December 19, 2012

Abstract

We propose a model of eye-tracking data to understand information acquisition patterns on attribute-byproduct matrices, which are common in online choice environments such as comparison websites. The objective is to investigate how consumers gather product and attribute information from moment to moment. We propose a hierarchical hidden Markov model that consists of three connected layers: a lower layer that describes the eye movements, a middle layer that identifies information acquisition processes, and an upper layer that captures strategy switching. The proposed model accounts for the data better than several alternative models. The results show that consumers switch frequently between acquisition strategies, and they obtain information on only two or three attributes or products in a particular acquisition strategy before switching. Horizontal and contiguous eye movements play an important role in information acquisition. Furthermore, our results shed new light on the phenomenon of gaze cascades during choice. We discuss the implications for Web design, online retailing, and new directions for research on online choice.

Keywords: process data; online choice; hierarchical hidden Markov model; eye tracking; information acquisition; gaze cascade; comparison websites

Suggested Citation

Shi, Savannah Wei and Wedel, Michel and Pieters, F. G. M. (Rik), Information Acquisition During Online Decision-Making: A Model-Based Exploration Using Eye-Tracking Data (December 19, 2012). Management Science, 2013, 59(5), 1009-1026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952447

Savannah Wei Shi (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University ( email )

Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408544798 (Phone)

Michel Wedel

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business, Marketing Department ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301.405.2162 (Phone)
301.405.0146 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/marketing/faculty/wedel.html

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands

F. G. M. (Rik) Pieters

Tilburg University, CentER ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
231
PlumX Metrics