Needle in the Cyberstack: Consumer Search For Information in the Web-Based Marketspace

Kuan-Pin Chiang, Long Island University
Ruby Roy Dholakia, University of Rhode Island
Stu Westin, University of Rhode Island
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - With a few simple clicks, consumers can navigate the World Wide Web, move from site to site, access and examine vast amounts of information unconstrained by time and place which have traditionally restricted consumer behavior in the physical marketplace. At least, that is according to theory. Information search on the Internet should, therefore, increase since search costs are reduced. But empirical evidence seems to suggest otherwise. Why aren=t consumers searching for more information? Although the Internet reduces the cost of physical effort in moving from store to store, it may not reduce the cognitive cost of moving from site to site. Further, if consumers’ motivation to shop online is to reduce effort and save time, why should one expect consumers to search for more information even if the search costs are relatively lower?
[ to cite ]:
Kuan-Pin Chiang, Ruby Roy Dholakia, and Stu Westin (2004) ,"Needle in the Cyberstack: Consumer Search For Information in the Web-Based Marketspace", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 88-89.