Buying from the Babbling Retailer? The Impact of Availability Information on Customer Behavior

Gad Allon*, Achal Bassamboo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Provision of real-time information by a firm to its customers has become prevalent in recent years in both the service and retail sectors. In this chapter, we study a retail operations model where customers are strategic in both their actions and in the way they interpret information, while the retailer is strategic in the way it provides information. This chapter focuses on the ability (or the lack thereof) to communicate unverifiable information and influence customers’ actions. We develop a game-theoretic framework to study this type of communication and discuss the equilibrium language emerging between the retailer and its customers. We show that for a single-retailer and homogeneous customer population setting, the equilibrium language that emerges carries no information. In this sense, a single-retailer providing information on its own cannot create any credibility with the customers. We study how the results are impacted due to the heterogeneity of the customers. We provide conditions under which the firm may be able to influence the customer behavior. In particular, we show that the customers’ willingness-to-pay and willingness-to-wait cannot be ranked in an opposite manner. However, even when the firm can influence each customer class separately, the effective demand is not impacted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Series in Supply Chain Management
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Supply Chain Management
ISSN (Print)2365-6395
ISSN (Electronic)2365-6409


  • Availability Information
  • Cheap Talk
  • Customer Behavior
  • Initial Inventory
  • Inventory Level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Optimization


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