Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumers evaluate identical price offers in retail versus e‐tail environments. Within that context, it seeks to examine the likelihood of shoppers to continue searching for a better price within the same channel and their intentions to transit to another channel. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 120 subjects provided information on gender and price knowledge and evaluated an advertised offer for a camera in one of two settings (retail or e‐tail). The offers in the two settings were identical in all respects. Then, subjects indicated the likelihood of finding a better price within the medium versus if they made a transition to a different medium. Findings – Analysis reveals that consumers' evaluations and search behaviors are influenced by characteristics of the medium (retail versus e‐tail), but this effect is moderated by both gender and price knowledge. Females prefer a brick and mortar environment and are likely to seek information at such retailers, even when similar products are available online. However, males evaluate online offers better than identical store offers, and are less inclined to engage in channel transition. Finally, evaluations of online offers are positively related to price knowledge, whereas a reverse pattern of results is obtained for retail offers. Originality/value – The findings shed light on how consumers evaluate identical online versus retail price offers, and their associated search intentions. These findings have practical implications for merchants who adopt a dual presence.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 25, 2012
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Prices; Gender; Internet; Electronic commerce; Channel transition; Retail versus e‐tail; Gender differences; Price knowledge