Sharing is a phenomenon as old as humankind, while collaborative consumption and the “sharing economy” are phenomena born of the Internet age. This paper compares sharing and collaborative consumption and finds that both are growing in popularity today. Examples are given and an assessment is made of the reasons for the current growth in these practices and their implications for businesses still using traditional models of sales and ownership. The old wisdom that we are what we own, may need modifying to consider forms of possession and uses that do not involve ownership.
Over the recent years, C2C (consumer-to-consumer) electronic market
has increased rapidly, and has become the most active segment of e-markets today.
Despite the growth and popularity of online auctions and especially of e-Bay, which
has been considered to be one of the most profitable e-commerce companies, the
online auction environment is risky and transactions are complex due to the fact that
buyer and seller do not know each other and they are not familiar. Although many
studies have examined the impact of e-service quality on customer satisfaction in
B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business) commerce, the literature
is insufficient in the case of C2C commerce. However, a number of authors have
conducted research in C2C and particularly in e-Bay but in all of the cases, data
source from e-Bay’s feedback system was employed in order to investigate service
quality issues. Nevertheless, in this study a field research was conducted in order to
collect the necessary data and thus reducing possible bias. The purpose of this paper
is to examine some determinants of satisfaction with service quality dimensions in
the online auction environment. More specifically, this paper is examining the case
of e-Bay, in order to have a better understanding of buyers’ satisfaction in this risky
environment. The paper’s aim is accomplished through an empirical investigation of
a sample of 2,099 buyers of e-Bay, examining buyers’ expectation and perception
levels towards service quality of e-Bay. Gap analysis was first employed in order to
identify users’ disconfirmation dimensions in the online auction market place.
Some research hypotheses are formulated to find out whether these dimensions
have a positive disconfirmation. In most of the cases a positive disconfirmation is
tracked down. Secondly, factor analysis was utilized to identify broad determinants
of e-Bay service quality. The pool of the initial items deduced to four
factors. These factors are, to a degree, differentiated in the Greek environment
from factors found in other studies. A second round of research hypotheses are
formulated again to find out whether those factors are related to the users’ disconfirmation
dimensions. Finally, a new theoretical model is proposed based on
the above mentioned hypotheses.
Active interactions and relationships among members are crucial to the success of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce. Prior studies have rarely articulated the relationship between the social interactions among members and their loyalty to the C2C platform provider. This paper differentiates two types of trust in C2C e-commerce-mutual trust among members and members' trust in the platform provider-and then proposes that trust in the platform provider mediates the relation between mutual trust and loyalty to the platform provider. A study using a sample from Chinese C2C Web sites shows that information interaction and emotional interaction both boost mutual trust among members, which in turn boosts their trust in and loyalty to the platform provider. For platform providers, the findings suggest a strategic route to building members' loyalty in a competitive market.
Previous research has examined whether price dispersion exists in theoretically highly efficient Internet markets. However, much of the previous work has been focused on industries with low cost and undifferentiated products. In this paper, we examine the presence of price dispersion and product differentiation using data on the airline ticket offerings of online travel agents (OTAs). We find that different OTAs offer tickets with substantially different prices and characteristics when given the same customer request. Some of this variation appears to be due to product differentiation-different OTAs specialize by systematically offering different trade-offs between ticket price and ticket quality (minimizing the number of connections, matching requested departure and return time). However, even after accounting for differences in ticket quality ticket prices vary by as much as 18% across OTAs. In addition, OTAs return tickets that are strictly inferior to the ticket offered by another OTA for the same request between 2.2% and 28% of the time. Overall, this suggests the presence of both price dispersion and product differentiation in the online travel market.
The role of price in prepurchase evaluations for variably priced services has not been widely examined. Increased consumer awareness of variable pricing practices, coupled with growing availability of user-generated content (UGC) at the point of purchase in the online environment, may be changing the way that consumers use price in purchase decisions. This article examines the relative roles of price and UGC, specifically consumer reviews and aggregate consumer ratings, on consumers’ prepurchase evaluations in the context of the purchase of hotel accommodation, a service to which variable pricing is typically applied. Results indicate that, in the presence of UGC, price does not have a significant impact on perceived quality. Price and UGC have significant effects on perceived value, although consumers rely more on reviews than ratings when evaluating price–benefit trade-offs. These results suggest that, rather than simply competing on price, managers must also understand consumers’ perceptions of their firm versus the competition.
Sponsored search is a large and growing advertising channel for online retailers. Although advertisers appreciate that search engines can serve ads triggered by particular search terms that only need to be paid for when the ad delivers a potential customer, we suspect that many advertisers are not capturing all the benefits of paid search because they do not have a clear picture of what they are trying to accomplish. In order to help advertisers improve their search spend, we provide an overview of Google's adWords, which is the dominant paid search program, and describe the fundamental metrics of paid search and their relationships with one another. We identify three different goals an advertiser might have for a particular keyword: traffic growth, profit and a hybrid approach we term self-funding. Finally, we provide recommendations for how to treat some broad categories of keywords.Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management (2009) 8, 155-165. doi:10.1057/rpm.2008.64
The importance of service quality in improving customer satisfaction and loyalty in traditional business settings has been established through the use of such instruments as SERVQUAL. However, these established service quality dimensions, or similar measures, have not been applied to electronic commerce settings. Using online travel services as a case study, an assessment tool, E-QUAL, was developed to evaluate the service quality of electronic commerce businesses from the consumers' perspective. In contrast to the existing Web site evaluation tools that focus on the “coolness” or level of “interactivity” of the site, E-QUAL is based on the proven conceptual framework of the SERVQUAL instrument and is adjusted for the unique attributes of the electronic commerce. The findings have theoretical and managerial implications for assessing quality of service for online companies.
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