Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms: Evidence from the Sharing Economy

Michael Wessel, Ferdinand Thies, Alexander Benlian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Various platforms have recently emerged within the sharing economy and the phenomenon has started to affect several industries. While platforms such as Airbnb and BlaBlaCar are providing convenience and economic benefits to end-users, their success also turned them into crowded and competitive markets. With increasing numbers of products and services offered via the platforms, signals such as popularity and reputation have become critical market mechanisms that affect the decision-making processes of end-users. In this paper, we examine the positioning strategies of new hosts on Airbnb, a platform focused on accommodation sharing, to understand how they attempt to cope with the inherent lack of credible quality signals as they join the platform. By analyzing close to 47,000 listings, we find that new hosts follow a cost-leadership strategy rather than trying to differentiate their offerings. We also analyze how this strategy changes depending on prior platform-specific experience of hosts.
Various platforms have recently emerged within the sharing economy and the phenomenon has started to affect several industries. While platforms such as Airbnb and BlaBlaCar are providing convenience and economic benefits to end-users, their success also turned them into crowded and competitive markets. With increasing numbers of products and services offered via the platforms, signals such as popularity and reputation have become critical market mechanisms that affect the decision-making processes of end-users. In this paper, we examine the positioning strategies of new hosts on Airbnb, a platform focused on accommodation sharing, to understand how they attempt to cope with the inherent lack of credible quality signals as they join the platform. By analyzing close to 47,000 listings, we find that new hosts follow a cost-leadership strategy rather than trying to differentiate their offerings. We also analyze how this strategy changes depending on prior platform-specific experience of hosts.

Conference

ConferenceICIS 2017
Number38
LocationCoex Convention Center
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period10/12/201713/12/2017
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems
ISSN0000-0033

Keywords

  • Competitive positioning
  • Digital platforms
  • Sharing economy
  • Intra-platform competition
  • Differentiation
  • Cost leadership
  • Reputation
  • Popularity

Cite this

Wessel, M., Thies, F., & Benlian, A. (2017). Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms: Evidence from the Sharing Economy. In ICIS 2017 Proceedings Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems
Wessel, Michael ; Thies, Ferdinand ; Benlian, Alexander. / Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms : Evidence from the Sharing Economy. ICIS 2017 Proceedings. Atlanta, GA : Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), 2017. (Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems).
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abstract = "Various platforms have recently emerged within the sharing economy and the phenomenon has started to affect several industries. While platforms such as Airbnb and BlaBlaCar are providing convenience and economic benefits to end-users, their success also turned them into crowded and competitive markets. With increasing numbers of products and services offered via the platforms, signals such as popularity and reputation have become critical market mechanisms that affect the decision-making processes of end-users. In this paper, we examine the positioning strategies of new hosts on Airbnb, a platform focused on accommodation sharing, to understand how they attempt to cope with the inherent lack of credible quality signals as they join the platform. By analyzing close to 47,000 listings, we find that new hosts follow a cost-leadership strategy rather than trying to differentiate their offerings. We also analyze how this strategy changes depending on prior platform-specific experience of hosts.",
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Wessel, M, Thies, F & Benlian, A 2017, Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms: Evidence from the Sharing Economy. in ICIS 2017 Proceedings. Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), Atlanta, GA, Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2017, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, 10/12/2017.

Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms : Evidence from the Sharing Economy. / Wessel, Michael ; Thies, Ferdinand; Benlian, Alexander.

ICIS 2017 Proceedings. Atlanta, GA : Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), 2017.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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AB - Various platforms have recently emerged within the sharing economy and the phenomenon has started to affect several industries. While platforms such as Airbnb and BlaBlaCar are providing convenience and economic benefits to end-users, their success also turned them into crowded and competitive markets. With increasing numbers of products and services offered via the platforms, signals such as popularity and reputation have become critical market mechanisms that affect the decision-making processes of end-users. In this paper, we examine the positioning strategies of new hosts on Airbnb, a platform focused on accommodation sharing, to understand how they attempt to cope with the inherent lack of credible quality signals as they join the platform. By analyzing close to 47,000 listings, we find that new hosts follow a cost-leadership strategy rather than trying to differentiate their offerings. We also analyze how this strategy changes depending on prior platform-specific experience of hosts.

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KW - Sharing economy

KW - Intra-platform competition

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Wessel M, Thies F, Benlian A. Competitive Positioning of Complementors on Digital Platforms: Evidence from the Sharing Economy. In ICIS 2017 Proceedings. Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). 2017. (Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems).