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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

We need to talk about Consumer Online Browsing

Published: May 27, 2020


Fabio Sandes, EAESP, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, FGV/SP; Yuliya Komarova Loureiro, Fordham University; Delane Botelho, EAESP, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, FGV/SP


browsing; online; search


Consumers do all sorts of things online. They read emails, connect to their friends, check their bank accounts, and they browse for products they like. In marketing literature, the unique characteristics of browsing was discussed only in the offline context. We conducted an extensive research in literature to understand how online browsing has been discussed, and also to compare it with similar, related behaviors, such as pre-purchase search, and window shopping. We conducted nineteen interviews with consumers from three different countries: Brazil, USA, and Hungary to assess the differences between online and offline browsing. Consumer Online Browsing (COB) is a behavior where consumers browse in websites where purchasing is a possibility, with a small and diffused purchase intention. Through COB consumers acquire more product knowledge, discover new products and brands, and relax their minds. COB often makes consumers lose track of time, which sometimes lead to frustration.