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Window shopping and browsing opportunities in cyberspace

Rowley, Jennifer (2002) Window shopping and browsing opportunities in cyberspace. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 1 (4). pp. 369-378. ISSN 1479-1838

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This article reviews the integral nature of browsing to the shopping experience and then explores the different types of browsing and searching that are supported in the online environment. Browsing contexts and episodes occur when consumers use browsers, URLs, search engines, menu categories and shopping bots to identify merchants and products. Browsing may be both intentional and unintentional, from the consumer's perspective, and controlled or uncontrolled, on the merchant's part. A matrix proposes four different categories of searching: partnership, consumer owned, merchant owned, and no-one's land. These categories need to be taken into account when designing further research to profile browsing behaviour and to investigate the effect that it has on purchase decisions.

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