A Study of Consumer Switching Behavior Across Internet Portal Web Sites

Sukekyu Lee, Fred Zufryden, and Xavier Drèze
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 7, Number 3, Spring 2003, pp. 39.

Abstract: This paper describes an empirical study of the dynamics of consumer switching behavior across major Internet portal Web sites, based on an analysis of a commercial on-line panel database. The study highlights the managerial implications of the model in the context of e-commerce. The results provide managerial insights regarding the strength of a portal Web site relative to its competitors in terms of its ability to attract and retain visitors as well as the relative vulnerabilities of competing portals from which visitors are drawn. The study also examines the effect of causal factors (e.g., visitor gender, past Internet usage, log-on time, time spent on previous sites) on portal Web site switching behavior and loyalty. The study has implications for identifying consumer segments more likely to be attracted to a Web site and for increasing the number of visitors to the site.

Key Words and Phrases
: Internet browsing behavior, market structure, Markov process, maximum-likelihood estimation, multinomial logit models, Web panel data analysis, Web site choice.