Search Strategies in Shopping Engines: An Experimental Investigation

Arnold Kamis
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 11, Number 1, Fall 2006, pp. 63.

Abstract: Shopping engines of different designs were researched in respect to convenience as a mode of access to goods and services offered on the Web. Some shopping engines function autonomously in one stage, quickly maximizing decision accuracy as a function of several parameters. Others strongly involve the user, searching in multiple stages to satisfy decision accuracy requirements. Single-stage and multiple-stage shopping engines designed with two approaches, QuickSearch and AdaptiveSearch, were tested on 205 users trying to attain maximal accuracy with minimal effort. The best-performing shopping engine used two stages, QuickSearch first, then AdaptiveSearch. The results imply that QuickSearch and AdaptiveSearch, although logically equivalent, have different impacts on shopping for differentiated, multi-attribute goods and services. This suggests that shopping engines should be designed to first save the shopper effort and then provide attribute-focused support for examining the resulting set of items.

Key Words and Phrases
: Consumer behavior, data-envelopment analysis, decision support, on-line commerce, preference elicitation, recall, shopping engines.