Product uncertainty in online marketplaces in china: An econometric model

Yili Hong, Paul A. Pavlou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most studies on online marketplaces focus on seller uncertainty and rely on data from online marketplaces in the U.S. This paper extends this literature by focusing on product uncertainty and defining its two dimensions - description uncertainty (identifying the product's characteristics) and fit uncertainty (matching product characteristics with the buyer's needs). It also examines the distinction, relationship, and relative effects of the two dimensions of product uncertainty on actual product returns, and how online marketplaces can use IT-enabled mechanisms to mitigate product uncertainty. The proposed hypotheses are tested with data from 144 buyers in Taobao's online marketplace in China using an econometric model. The results stress the role of product presentations in reducing description uncertainty and of online communication, both between the buyer and the seller and also among buyers, in reducing fit uncertainty. The paper draws implications for reducing product uncertainty in online marketplaces with the aid of IT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication16th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010, AMCIS 2010
Pages2007-2018
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event16th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010, AMCIS 2010 - Lima, Peru
Duration: Aug 12 2010Aug 15 2010

Publication series

Name16th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010, AMCIS 2010
Volume3

Other

Other16th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2010, AMCIS 2010
CountryPeru
CityLima
Period8/12/108/15/10

Keywords

  • Buyer-seller communication
  • Description uncertainty
  • Fit uncertainty
  • Online marketplaces
  • Product presentation
  • Product returns
  • Product uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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