Authors: Punit Ahluwalia
Addresses: College of Business Administration, University of Texas-Pan American, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
Abstract: E-markets are more efficient than conventional markets because of better informed consumers, and trivial search and menu costs. Many studies have examined the reasons for price dispersion in retailer differentiated e-markets. This study takes a distinct approach and studies the relationships between the information tools generally available to consumers on e-retailers' websites and price dispersion over a period of time. Consumer reviews, their ratings and brand image are examined as the information sources. The analysis is based on six months retail data extracted from a major e-retailer in the USA. This study also explores the relationship between pricing strategy and the consumer comfort index reported weekly by Bloomberg. The implications for standards and evaluation metrics of e-retail websites are discussed.
Keywords: e-markets; electronic markets; e-retailers; electronic retailers; e-tailing; price dispersion; website standards; network externality; information cascades; retail websites; consumer reviews; consumer ratings; brand image; USA; United States; pricing strategy; consumer comfort index.
International Journal of Services and Standards, 2011 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.291 - 309
Published online: 20 Jan 2012 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article