• 2018-03-06
[Abstract] To examine the economic impact of O2O services regarding qualitative information sharing of service goods, this paper uses one of the most representative models of information search cost and price dispersion. The results show, on the one hand, that O2O services effectively lower search costs of qualitative information regarding service goods and that such services also tend to increase consumer welfare. On the other hand, our findings suggest that O2O services may be expected to lead to more decentralized markets(unlike traditional e-businesses). In other words, many producers with differentiated products can operate while targeting different groups with diverse preferences. This has become feasible because service goods are consumed offline despite the fact that information is shared online. Therefore, sharing qualitative information with respect to O2O services can not only increase consumer welfare but also promote greater variety in the marketplace.