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STICERD Work in Progress Seminars

Consumer Search. Evidence from Path Data

Fabio Pinna (Economics of Industry, STICERD)

Friday 17 May 2013 13:00 - 14:00

Due to the onging coronavirus outbreak, many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

About this event

In this paper, we analyse how in-store search varies along two dimensions: the areas of the store, and the product categories. We use a novel methodology to measure search activity. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags allow us to measure how long a consumer stands in front of a particular product category. Store geography explains 4% of variation in search time. We also identify seven 'critical macro areas' of the stores where approx. 2% of search time is explained. Product categories account for 6% of variation in search time. For example, for each additional week between purchases of the same category by a given consumer, search time increases by 3 seconds. At the end of the paper, we also discuss further directions for research such as explaining variation in search time within and between trips, or how to identify the causal relationship between search time and price paid by the consumers.