Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 449–467 | Cite as

Consumers' Online Information Search Behavior and the Phenomenon of Search vs. Experience Products

  • Lien-Ti Bei
  • Etta Y.I. Chen
  • Richard Widdows


This study investigates consumers' importance evaluation and usage of the Internet as an information source, compared with other traditional information sources. The main issue is the extent to which experience products can be transformed so as to be searchable on the Internet. The results of a web-based survey showed that consumers of experience products tended to use more online information than those of search products. Online information sources from other consumers and neutral sources were perceived to be more important and were used more often by the consumers of experience products; whereas retailer/manufacturer websites were perceived to be more useful by consumers of search products. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease-of-use, market mavenism, and usage of offline information sources were also positively related to the usage of online information.

experience products online information search search products 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lien-Ti Bei
    • 1
  • Etta Y.I. Chen
    • 1
  • Richard Widdows
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationNational Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Consumer Sciences and RetailingPurdue University, Matthews HallWest LafayetteUSA

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