The Smiling Platform: A Phenomenological Study of Amazon's Arrival on The Danish E-commerce Market

Thorbjørn Elmén Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master’s thesis is a phenomenological study of how three Danish e-commerce companies expect Amazon to influence the characteristics of the Danish market. Amazon’s arrival in Denmark is expected in 2019 (Danish web domain) and could potentially transform Danish e-commerce. The Danish market is characterised by being highly fragmented and located in an expanding phase as in opposition to countries where Amazon is well established. The theoretical concepts are formulated based on the notions of the Multi-Sided Platform (MSP) business model, matchmaking and search diversion, in order to conceptualise Amazon as a sales channel. Furthermore, definitions of platform cooperativism are used to conceptualise an alternative to Amazon. Four concepts are defined which is the theoretical essence of how the three Danish companies are expected to experience Amazon’s arrival. The methodology applies a three-component phenomenological research design which serves as the basis for how the participants were selected, how the data were collected, and how it was analysed. The analysisis shaped around a 4-levelapproach: Firstly, phenomena were identified in the transcripts, secondly, grouped in themes, thirdly, objectively/subjectively correlations were analysed in interview quotes, and lastly synthesised in essences of experiences. This master’s thesis concludes that the three Danish e-commerce companies experience Amazon as a platform that controls the customer/company interaction and that conventional thinking stands in the way of seeking platform cooperative alternatives. The conclusion calls for further research on how the MSP business model can be expanded and a thorough literature review on how platform cooperativism and e-commerce are compatible.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages157
SupervisorsAbayomi Baiyere