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Abstract

Despite the increasing importance of online grocery retailing, little is known about price dispersion across online providers, the relation between online and offline prices as well as the frequency of price adjustments. We employ means of descriptive and inductive statistics as well as panel econometrics to address these issues for German online food retailers. Daily online prices for twelve chocolate products charged by eight pure online and multichannel retailers and collected over three months are investigated. Information economics suggests that a maturing online market will call forth more price homogeneity online due to lower search costs by consumers as well as more flexible prices due to lower costs of price adjustments by retailers. Our results suggest, however, that neither homogenous prices nor frequent price adjustments do occur on the German online chocolate market.

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