Author: Guo, Shujun
Title: Consumers’ information searching behavior of channel integration for new retailing enterprises
Advisors: Jiang, Li (AF)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2022
Subject: Consumer goods -- Information resources
 Online information services
Consumer behavior
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies
Pages: vii, 223 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: In both product and service markets, quality or other characteristics regarding the offerings are the sellers' private information. Consumers are able to learn these inherent attributes via either omni-channels, sellers' price signaling or online review forums. All the accesses help consumers better understand the product and service industries which in turn determine sellers' selling strategies (i.e., pricing strategy, product assortment strategy, effort level strategy) to a certain extent. In this thesis, we mainly focus on consumers information searching behavior in both product and service markets to study its impact on sellers' marketing policies.
In Chapter 2, we examine a monopolist selling two products with both horizontal and vertical heterogeneity through dual channels and our results show that the optimal pricing strategy reflects a complement relationship between online and offline product. Meanwhile the consumers demand is highly related to the online return cost which finally influence the seller's optimal profit. Moreover, the quality performances of both offline product and online product will have great influence on the seller's decision regarding the product design feature, then induce different demands between two products. In Chapter 3, we further investigate an oligopoly market with two sellers competing to sell four products through dual channels. Based on the model, we find that prices of online products and offline products are both influenced by return cost although with different monotonicity. The sellers choose optimal product placement strategies by considering the unit misfit cost of products' horizontal feature and the return cost of online products simultaneously. In Chapter 4, we turn to examine the service market by considering a two-period model with service provider's price signaling strategy to convey her cost efficiency or quality certification. And our results show that the existence of separating and pooling equilibrium are highly related to the composition ratio of high-type consumers and the prior probability of cost-efficient service provider. In Chapter 5, we develop an intertemporal decision model under the collaborative service market with review forums which can help consumers acquire service quality information ex ante. Results show that when the reviewing effect is high and the collaborating effect is approaching two end values, the review process can help improve service provider's profit. Meanwhile, when the tendency for consumers to make review become lower, namely, consumers are more prudent to post reviews, the review system performs more helpfully, which is also embodied in the refinement of rating scales.
All our works in this thesis contribute to the literatures on the interface between operations management and marketing with a full profile to depict consumers' information searching and sharing behavior in both product and service markets via channel integration. Our implications help sellers make their marketing tactics more sensibly. As no matter the consumers need to pay for products or services, the primary task for them is to acquire relevant information, after which they make the decision of whether to purchase and which one to purchase. Costs (including products return cost, service cost efficiency, etc) play an important role in consumers' purchasing process. When we explore the influence of costs on the sellers marketing strategy, we further discover the significance of the foundation in respect of information dissemination platform, which makes a difference to sellers' improvement of their profitability.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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