The Efficiency of Different Search Patterns in Electronic Market

The Efficiency of Different Search Patterns in Electronic Market

Theresa Lauraeus-Niinivaara (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland), Timo Saarinen (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland), Anne Sunikka (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland) and Anssi Öörni (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-978-6.ch004


Electronic markets are expected to facilitate consumer information search and product comparison to the extent that consumers are able to accumulate nearly perfect information. The authors present an analysis of search patterns based on a laboratory experiment on product search processes. They identified three types of search patterns in the experiment: sequential, agent search, and iterative search. They studied the factors affecting the choice and the outcome of agent search pattern compared to the other search patterns. The results show that the employed search pattern has an impact on search cost and the efficiency of search measured with purchase price and the time used for searching. Agent search seems to combine low search costs with high efficiency. Sequential search still emerged as the dominant search pattern even though it leads to the most expensive purchase. Iterative search pattern search pattern.

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