Information Seeking and Online Deal Seeking Behavior

Information Seeking and Online Deal Seeking Behavior

Weidong Zhang (Jilin University, Changchun, China), Xin Tian (Kennesaw State University, Marietta, USA) and Wu He (Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.2019100107
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Deal-seeking behavior is booming over the last decade. This article aims to identify online deal-seeking resources, understand the current status of online deal-seeking and identify key insights and trends for understanding online deal seeker's behaviors. The authors first conducted an in-depth review of the relevant literature including white papers, survey reports, online news articles, as well as, numerous postings on multiple deal-seeking websites. Then, a blog mining approach is used to mine relevant blog posts they found from the Internet. The article identifies different types of online deal-seeking resources and summarizes key insights and trends for understanding online deal seeker's behaviors. Online deal seeking behavior is a subject that is not well explored. The article summarizes key insights and trends for understanding online deal seeker's behaviors. Information-seeking theories are used to help explain shopper's online deal-seeking behaviors.
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1. Introduction

The Internet has revolutionized global business and marketing. Numerous companies are actively using the Internet to market and sell their products and services on a global scale (He & Wang, 2015). With the growing population of internet users globally, more and more people choose to shop online. Compared to offline shopping, online shopping has many advantages including saving transportation cost, easily comparing prices across different online stores and receiving more product information (Laudon & Traver, 2013).

People who shop online include novice shoppers and savvy shoppers. It is noted that many savvy shoppers often search for deal information before they make online purchases. Searching for deals has become one of the most popular internet activities among today’s consumers (Egol & Lynch, 2010). According to a recent study by Market Track, 80% of respondents said they would do online price comparisons before making a purchase in a physical location (Renfrow, 2017). Many consumers even wait for the “deal” to become available before purchasing.

Searching on the Web makes finding a great deal easy. Many online deal-related sites such as and are providing real-time daily deal information and money-saving tips to shoppers. Shoppers can also use these sites to post deal information and share their deal-seeking skills and personal experiences about deals, hot bargains, discounts, coupons, rebates, pricing-errors, purchase process, product review and opinions and more with others (Gopal et al., 2006). Many “deal experts” have been sharing their knowledge for finding deals online. More and more consumers are learning how to find deals, how to save and they become more deal oriented. In addition, we have seen the influence of social media on people’s deal seeking behavior. More and more people are using social media such as personal blogs, Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to share and discuss the deal information. A survey from Empathica (2010) indicates that 60% of consumers follow a brand via social media, most because of coupons or promotions. Furthermore, in some countries, such as China and India, a lot of consumers tend to use mobile devices to seek and share deals.

Overall, today's consumers in many countries are becoming more strategic in their purchases and are leveraging various online resources to help them find the best deals and get the most savings. Deal-related resources can be found in many countries such as Taobao in China and eBay in the USA. These online deal-related resources provide a cost-effective way to disseminate deal information to a large audience in a short period of time and are driving more and more consumers’ online shopping behavior to a large extent (Arnbert & Rubinstein, 2012). Thus, it is important for companies to recognize and understand consumers’ deal-seeking behaviors as well as the tremendous opportunities brought by leveraging the knowledge about consumers’ deal-seeking behaviors (Sharma & Khattri, 2013). Knowledge about consumers’ deal-seeking behavior can help marketing managers design specific marketing strategies to appeal to deal prone households and increase the efficiency of distribution of coupons and other promotional items.

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