Early bird versus late owl: An empirical investigation of individual shopping time habit and its effects

Ziqiong Zhang, Zili Zhang, Pei Yu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Little research has focused on online shopping habits, particularly concerning time, missing the opportunity to potentially improve important outcomes by the simple innovative use of time. Based on a unique dataset that includes reviews as well as pertinent purchases at the individual level from a large online retailer, this study investigates whether consumers exhibit time habits for online shopping and whether following such time habits affects their satisfaction and revisit behavior. We employ activity-based metrics to assess individual shopping time habits, and the results show that consumers form shopping time habits and obtain higher consumer satisfaction and exhibit greater revisit behavior when the timing of shopping follows their shopping time habits. While prior works have documented that consumers exhibit time habits for physical shopping, driven mostly by time and location constraints, this study is the first, to our knowledge, to examine online shopping time habit and, most importantly, its effects on consumer satisfaction and revisit behavior. With the availability of detailed individual transaction data in online shopping and the advance of technology in providing personalized services that enable companies to act upon knowledge of individual behaviors, this research provides important practical implications for system and website design, marketing strategy, and customer relationship management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-162
Number of pages46
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Online shopping
  • Revisit behavior
  • Satisfaction
  • Time habit
  • Timing of shopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management


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