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Blazing the Trail: Considering Browsing Path Dependence in Online Service Response Strategy

Zuo, M. and Angelopoulos, S. and Liang, Z. and Ou, C.X.J. (2022) 'Blazing the Trail: Considering Browsing Path Dependence in Online Service Response Strategy.', Information Systems Frontiers .


Competition on e-commerce platforms is becoming increasingly fierce, due to the ease of online searching for comparing products and services. We examine how the sequential browsing behavior of consumers can enable targeted marketing strategies on e-commerce platforms, by using clickstream data from one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Asia. We deploy duration analysis to i) explore how path dependence can better explain consumers’ sequential browsing behavior in different product categories, and ii) characterize the sequential browsing behavior of heterogeneous consumer groups. The findings of our work showcase i) the high accuracy of using sequential browsing path dependence to explain consumer behavior, ii) the patterns of their behavioral intentions and iii) the spell of the behavior of heterogeneous consumer groups. Our findings provide nuanced implications for strategically managing branding, marketing, and customer relations on e-commerce platforms. We discuss the implications of our findings for both research and practice, and we delineate an agenda for future research on the topic.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:26 June 2022
Date deposited:27 June 2022
Date of first online publication:21 July 2022
Date first made open access:26 July 2022

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