Bin LiFollow

Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Online, Offline, Entry/Exit, Search, Competition, Cannibalization, Awareness, Convenience

Major Advisor

Hongju Liu

Associate Advisor

Joseph Pancras

Associate Advisor

Ting Zhu

Associate Advisor

Nicholas Lurie

Associate Advisor

William T. Ross, Jr.

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


With the increasing popularity of the online channel, both consumers and firms are engaging in more and more multi-channel activities. On the one hand, consumers can integrate information from searches on both online and offline channels, and then decide on the best channel to buy from. On the other hand, firms need to consider consumer behavior in different channels in their strategy design. As a result, cross-channel interactions between consumer behavior and firm strategy can be within the same channel or across different channels. While the within-channel interaction has been studied extensively in the previous literature, there is much less research on the cross-channel interaction. In my dissertation, I add to the understanding of consumer behavior and firm strategy in the multi-channel environment by empirically analyzing their cross-channel interactions.

This dissertation consists of three separate but related essays. The first answers the question: How does consumer behavior affect optimal product portfolio strategies in online versus offline channels? I develop an empirical model to simultaneously identify the cannibalization effect (within a brand) and the competition effect (between different brands) in different retail channels. I further examine how these effects are affected by consumer preferences. The second essay answers the question: How does a firm’s offline strategy affect consumer online behavior? I use a natural experiment to examine how the awareness and convenience effects from opening new retail stores affect the online search. The final essay answers the question: How does online banking affect entry/exit of offline bank branches? I develop and estimate a dynamic entry/exit model examining the relationship between technological advances and market structure evolution. My counterfactual analysis shows that the asymmetric reduction in operating costs is the most significant factor driving recent changes in the U.S. banking industry, followed by increased entry costs and increased deposits for large banks due to greater online presence. My findings provide important implications for firms engaging in multi-channel activities.