讲座主题：Prominent Retailer and Price Search
主 讲人：朱毅 副教授 明尼苏达大学
In online retail market, search traffic tends to be heavily concentrated on a “prominent” retailer, such as Amazon in the U.S. and Alibaba in China. This research asks the following questions in an intra-brand setting: how should a prominent retailer leverage its search traffic advantage in pricing decisions? How does search traffic concentration affect price competition, consumer welfare, and the retailer’s profit? We study the above questions through a sequential price search model. The consumers with heterogeneous search costs conduct price search across competing retailers within their limited search consideration sets. In our model, the prominent retailer dominates search traffic in two dimensions: (1) it has the highest first search share and (2) it appears in all consumers’ search consideration sets. We find that the prominent retailer charge a higher average price than its competitors if its first search share is sufficiently high. Otherwise, its average price is relatively low despite its highest first search level. Furthermore, a higher level of traffic concentration can intensify price competition and lower average prices for all retailers. This suggests that consumers can become better off if search traffic is more concentrated. Lastly, there might exist a “curse of prominence” such that more traffic can reduce a retailer’s profit
Yi Zhu is an Associate Professor of Marketing, Mary & Jim Lawrence Fellow at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD in Business Administration from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2013. He worked as a consultant at Shanghai Investment Consulting Corporation before he went to Vancouver, where he received his M.A. in Economics from University of British Columbia. His research interests focus on the application of industrial organization models in marketing, online auctions, consumer search, advertising, media slant, sharing economy and Chinese economy. His recent works have appeared or forthcoming at Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing Research and International Journal of Research in Marketing.
In 2015, Zhu is the recipient of the John D.C. Little Award for the best marketing paper published in Marketing Science or Management Science, and the finalist for the Frank M. Bass Award for the best marketing paper derived from a Ph.D. thesis published in INFORMS journals. In 2016, he has been selected as a 2017 Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar, a biennial award given to the most promising scholars in marketing who have distinguished themselves as potential leaders of the next generation of marketing academics. His research was funded by 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant, the Marketing Science Institute Grant, Net Institute Grant, CIBER dissertation Grant, Carlson Dean's Small Research Grant, and Dean's Research Travel Grant. Zhu has also won Shankar-Spiegel Best Dissertation Proposal Award in 2012, the 2011 James S. Ford/Commerce Associates Ph.D. Fellowship and many other awards during his time at USC. Among the 2013 graduates at USC, Zhu was one of the six awardees of the 2013 USC PhD Achievement Award. In addition, Zhu was recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education to be one of the top nine Chinese doctoral students studying abroad for his outstanding academic achievement and research in 2012 —among all graduate students across all subjects.