Uncovering Patterns in Cybershopping
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Academics and practitioners alike have been arguing about whether the Internet brings a revolutionary change in the fundamental way we do business or if it simply offers a new distribution channel and communication medium. Regardless of the answer to that debate, one thing is certain: the Internet provides managers with an enormous amount of customer information that was previously unavailable. Thus, the new struggle has been to manage this information and to use it accurately and efficiently to measure customers, trends, and performance. However, the volume of this data has overwhelmed many e-commerce managers. As a result, e-commerce managers have been focusing on aggregate level summary statistics rather than fully leveraging their data. Using commonly available clickstream data, this article discusses the benefits of separating an individual customer's buying behavior into simple patterns of visits and purchasing conversion. This analysis of the buying process allows us to more carefully examine the relationship between store visits and purchasing behavior.