讲座题目：Why do Firms Facilitate On-site Product Evaluation When Costs for Store Visits Decrease?
主 讲 人：北京航空航天大学 刘霖 教授
腾讯会议：557 254 441
主 持 人：中南大学商学院 周雄伟 教授
刘霖，北京航空航天大学教授、博士生导师。主要研究兴趣集中在数字平台和平台经济，运筹管理和营销学交叉领域。研究论文发表在Management Science（两篇）和POMS上，获Shankar-Spiegel最佳论文奖，中国运筹学会-行为运筹与管理分会最佳论文奖，纽约大学斯特恩商学院NET Institute科研基金，任Journal of Digital Economy（清华大学）副主编。
Improvements in communication infrastructure and information technology have strived to make both online and offline store visits better experiences and less costly for consumers. In addition, on-site product information search has been unprecedentedly facilitated by provisions of tools such as mobile store apps, search engines, screening/sorting aids, better in-store display, etc. With the decrease in the cost to visit stores, do firms have an incentive to facilitate consumers’ on-site information collection and evaluation on product attributes? This paper attempts to shed light on this important question with a parsimonious economic model that considers both travel cost (transportation cost between firm visits) and search cost (product inspection cost on-site) and explores how they affect consumer search behavior and firms' pricing decisions. Specifically, consumers make a trade-off between how many attributes to evaluate (search depth) and whether to continue the search to the next firm (search breadth). The analysis reveals a novel interaction effect: lower (higher) search cost benefits firms if travel cost becomes lower (higher). Thus, facilitating consumers’ on-site product evaluation may benefit firms in the context of reduced travel cost. These results are built off of interesting roles that travel and search costs play: they play the same role on firms’ competition when search depth is exogenous whereas they play opposite roles—depth and prices increase (decrease) in travel (search) cost—when search depth is endogenous and partial-depth search prevails. Relevant managerial implications are discussed.