The Version Effect of Apps and Operating Systems in Mobile Commerce
Forthcoming, Production and Operations Management
39 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2020 Last revised: 19 Sep 2022
Date Written: August 31, 2022
Different versions of mobile operating systems or shopping apps enable different functionalities and information flows, thus creating various mobile shopping environments. In general, up-to-date versions provide better information flows and richer functionalities. However, mobile operating systems and shopping apps affect consumer behavior through different mechanisms. An up-to-date mobile operating system reduces the system response time, while an up-to-date shopping app improves algorithms for better search accuracy. The former encourages consumers to explore and search, whereas the latter improves consumer search efficiency and reduces the chances for consumers to discover more products. Using a unique large-scale clickstream data set from a mobile commerce retailer, we examine the effect of mobile operating system and app versions on consumer search and impulse purchase behaviors in mobile commerce. Our results show that consumers with an up-to-date mobile operating system or a previous version of a shopping app conduct more searches in terms of increased product page views and time spent on product pages, which results in a higher probability of consumer impulse purchase. Surprisingly, though more page views or time spent may boost purchases, we find that consumer search affects impulse purchases non-linearly in that page views and time spent have a decreasing rate of impact. Our computations show that using an up-to-date operating system increases consumer search activities by 60.45 product pages or 521.30 seconds spent browsing compared to using a previous operating system version. Using an up-to-date app decreases consumer search activities by 129.34 product pages or 1446.48 seconds spent browsing compared to using a previous mobile app version.
Keywords: Mobile Commerce, Mobile Shopping App, Mobile Operating System, Consumer Behavior
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