Does Information Undermine Brand? Information Intermediary Use and Preference for Branded Web Retailers

25 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2006

See all articles by Joel Waldfogel

Joel Waldfogel

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics

Lu Chen

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

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Abstract

Investments in brand, and third-party information, provide alternative methods for convincing potential customers that vendors will deliver as promised. This study uses a 13-month panel dataset on 1998-99 Internet shopping behavior and use of information intermediaries by over 30,000 households to examine whether information use undermines brand. Individuals using price comparison sites substantially increase their level of shopping at unbranded retail sites, while they shop less at Amazon. The results have possible implications for both firm strategy and the evolution of market structure. If information weakens the pull of brand, then Internet retailing may grow less concentrated over time.

Suggested Citation

Waldfogel, Joel and Chen, Lu, Does Information Undermine Brand? Information Intermediary Use and Preference for Branded Web Retailers. Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 425-449, December 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=951832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6451.2006.00295.x

Joel Waldfogel (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics ( email )

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Minneapolis, MN 55455
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Lu Chen

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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