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Matt, Christian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9800-2335 (2012): Consumer Product Search and the Decision between Intermediary and Supplier Online Shops. International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2012), Orlando, Florida, USA, 16-19 December 2012. In: ICIS 2012 Proceedings,

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When shopping online, consumers have to decide between two vendor types – suppliers and intermediaries. The existing body of research on intermediation usually adopts a market-centric perspective, and subsequently neglects the consumer when making this focal decision. Therefore, using the example of digital music, we offer a consumer-centric view on this problem. We use experimental and simulation techniques to analyze how consumers decide between intermediaries and suppliers and what kind of search strategies they apply. Furthermore, we evaluate the efficiency of consumers’ decisions and find significant differences between strategies. Given that in practice, consumers usually possess less information on products and prices prior to search and that market structures are more complex, our study demonstrates that consumers may suffer from efficiency losses when having to make such decisions. This highlights the importance of consumer decision support systems that operate on a market-spanning basis and provides new insights for practical applications.

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