Findability Drives Online Buying

We all know that findability precedes usability, but now a new research study out of MIT shows that findability beats finance.

An MIT professor finds that the ability to find products online is almost ten times more important then price alone when it comes to buying online.

So reads a news article entitled Findability Drives Online Buying. The MIT professor is Erik Brynjolfsson.

Unfortunately, and ironically, I can't find the research study. If you locate it, please let me know. Thanks!

Hmm, looks like this paper covers it:

It is linked from his pages at MIT Sloan. Not too hard for me to find, but I'm a search guy, so my experience is certainly not representative.

I like their work on how much it costs to gather information. That is a quantitative version of the basic idea that all search is wasted time. The job of a search engine (like Ultraseek, the one I work on) is to waste the minimum amount of your time and attention so you can get back to what you really want to do.

Thanks Walter! But I'm not sure that's the right paper. For one thing, it's from 2003.

I found one at SSRN too, but this one's in print.

I'm not a business science domain expert, so can't help you much - but there has - as always - been written a lot about the subject 'buyer search costs' before, also regarding "findability" (ante litteram). Go serendipitize on your own :)

M. Sigaard

Actually he isn't really talking about findability.

*"People do save money by going on line, but when we compared lower prices to greater choice, we found that the value to consumers of having the extra choice was 10 times greater than the value from price alone."*

He preaches increasing the offer, not (necessarily) making it easier to locate and navigate. As I understand it he's actually talking about the long tail.