Identifying consumer consideration set at the purchase time from aggregate purchase data in online retailing

Bin Gu, Prabhudev Konana, Hsuan Wei Michelle Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Online retailers provide a substantial amount of product information to their customers. The information includes not only product features and customer reviews, but also information on alternative products that may better fit a consumer's needs. The systematic provision of information on alternative products could have a significant impact on consumers' purchase decision process at online retailers. In this study, we analyze one aspect of the impact - the degree to which consumers consider multiple products at the purchase time. We leverage a popular feature provided by online retailers - What Do Customers Ultimately Buy after Viewing This Item? We show that information contained in this feature can be used to identify consumers' product consideration set and choice at the purchase time when combined with product sales data. The identification is exact in analyzing competition between two products. For competition involving three products, the identification is exact under the assumption that consumer choice follows a discrete choice model. For competition involving more than three products, the information provides a lower bound of the percentage of consumers that consider only one product at the purchase time. We apply the model to 38,400 unique products from Amazon's Electronics category. The results show that more than 78% of consumers purchase a product without considering any other products on Amazon at the purchase time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Consideration set
  • Consumer choice
  • Electronic commerce
  • Information search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying consumer consideration set at the purchase time from aggregate purchase data in online retailing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this