The Influence of Context on Online Shopping Behavior: The Case of Concurrent TV Consumption

29 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2018  

Oliver Hinz

Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Shawndra Hill

Microsoft Research

Amit Sharma

Cornell University

Date Written: January 23, 2018

Abstract

It is widely agreed that people use digital devices while watching TV, a phenomenon called "second screening". However, there is little work that explains the impact this shared attention across screens has on business. In this paper, we study the impact of concurrent TV viewership on online shopping behavior. Our first study analyzes the impact of TV consumption on online shopping behavior at the aggregate level using a panel of 100,000 US customers over a period of 24 months. We address potential endogeneity problems with an instrumental variable approach. Our second study proposes a novel approach to realizing individual-level analysis over thousands of consumers and products. We identify a sample of consumers who watched a certain TV show and analyze their Amazon shopping carts in the context of TV consumption. We then compare these results to the shopping behavior of the same sample of consumers one week before they watched the TV show. Both studies reveal that while TV consumption is correlated with a higher likelihood of online shopping in general, the causal effect of TV watching differs with respect to the complexity of the products purchased. If a TV program appeals to a large number of viewers, this results in fewer sales of high-complexity products and more sales of low complexity products. New insights on this effect and information about its magnitude could help marketers better allocate their TV ad spending and make better online shopping recommendations for consumers who concurrently consume TV.

Keywords: Cross-Media Effects, Information Systems: IT Policy and Management, Electronic Commerce, Big Data Analysis, Instrumental Variable Approach, Attention Economy

JEL Classification: M31, M15

Suggested Citation

Hinz, Oliver and Hill, Shawndra and Sharma, Amit, The Influence of Context on Online Shopping Behavior: The Case of Concurrent TV Consumption (January 23, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3107628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3107628

Oliver Hinz (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Mertonstrasse 17-25
Frankfurt am Main, D-60325
Germany

Shawndra Hill

Microsoft Research ( email )

New York, NY 10011
United States

Amit Sharma

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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