Blazing the Trail: Considering Browsing Path Dependence in Online Service Response Strategy
Meihua Zuo, Spyros Angelopoulos, Zhouyang Liang, Carol Xiaojuan Ou
Competition on e-commerce platforms is becoming increasingly fierce, due to the ease of online searching for comparing products and services. We examine how the sequential browsing behavior of consumers can enable targeted marketing strategies on e-commerce platforms, by using clickstream data from one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Asia. We deploy duration analysis to i) explore how path dependence can better explain consumers’ sequential browsing behavior in different product categories, and ii) characterize the sequential browsing behavior of heterogeneous consumer groups. The findings of our work showcase i) the high accuracy of using sequential browsing path dependence to explain consumer behavior, ii) the patterns of their behavioral intentions and iii) the spell of the behavior of heterogeneous consumer groups. Our findings provide nuanced implications for strategically managing branding, marketing, and customer relations on e-commerce platforms. We discuss the implications of our findings for both research and practice, and we delineate an agenda for future research on the topic.
Suggested Citation: Zuo, M., Angelopoulos, S., Liang, Z., Ou, C.X.J. (2022). “Blazing the Trail: Considering Browsing Path Dependence in Online Service Response Strategy”, Information Systems Frontiers (Forthcoming). DOI: 10.1007/s10796-022-10311-3