Abstract

As the technologies and better practices become broadly available, companies are moving more quickly from a single-click or search-only model toward greater sophisticated models of informing and influencing the customer online shopping journeys. This study scrutinizes the predictive relationship between three referral channels, search engine, social medial, and third-party advertising, and online consumer search and purchase. The results derived from vector autoregressive models suggest that the three channels have differential predictive relationship with sale measures. Such differential relationship is even more pronounced for the long-term, accumulative effects. The predictive power of the three channels is also considerably different in referring customers among competing online shopping websites. This study offers new insights for IT and marketing practitioners in respect to how different channels perform in order to optimize the media mix and overall performance.

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