Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
Online search behavior is analyzed using a novel methodology based on an international panel of two million users. Consumer search is measured by the size and distribution of online consideration sets and the use of price comparison engines in a range of US and UK consumer markets. It is shown that most online researchers who are considering competing suppliers only view two or three competitor websites, which results in an average online consideration set of between 2.1 and 2.8, regardless of the use of price comparison websites. Consumer perceived risk is negatively correlated with the size of online consideration sets and online price competition intensity.