Date of this Version
Information Systems Research
We explore how Internet browsing behavior varies between mobile phones and personal computers. Smaller screen sizes on mobile phones increase the cost to the user of browsing for information. In addition, a wider range of offline locations for mobile Internet usage suggests that local activities are particularly important. Using data on user behavior at a (Twitter-like) microblogging service, we exploit exogenous variation in the ranking mechanism of posts to identify the ranking effects. We show that (1) ranking effects are higher on mobile phones suggesting higher search costs: links that appear at the top of the screen are especially likely to be clicked on mobile phones and (2) the benefit of browsing for geographically close matches is higher on mobile phones: stores located in close proximity to a user's home are much more likely to be clicked on mobile phones. Thus, the mobile Internet is somewhat less “Internet-like”: search costs are higher and distance matters more. We speculate on how these changes may affect the future direction of Internet commerce.
mobile Internet, search costs, ranking effects, cognitive load, recency effects, local interests, microblogging, social media, hierarchical Bayesian methods
Ghose, A., Goldfarb, D., & Han, S. P. (2013). How Is the Mobile Internet Different? Search Costs and Local Activities. Information Systems Research, 24 (3), 613-631. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.1120.0453
Date Posted: 27 November 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.