A Review of Platforms for Digital Goods

A Review of Platforms for Digital Goods

Ravi S. Sharma (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch059
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Main Focus Of The Article

The research model described in this chapter was derived from the study of information systems, business and marketing literature. The study first conducted an extensive literature review from six top electronic business journals across the 2000 – 2010 timeline obtained from the Business Source Premier databases of EBSCO Host. Most of the research was derived from key word searches of “electronic markets, electronic transactions, digital economy, digital business, e-commerce model, online stores and online business”. These key word searches yielded around 750 relevant matches. The relevant journal papers were then selected using content analysis of the titles and abstracts.

Gefen et al. state that “an online vendor is represented by the functionalities and features of its virtual store-front, that is – it’s website.” (2003, p. 75). Their study shows that recognizing both technological and trust issues are important in increasing consumers' intended use of the web site and the transactions with the e-vendor. Hence, the Platform Functionality Model (ePFM) was derived for digital goods with three main categories, transactional functionalities, marketing functionalities, and revenue functionalities. The transactional functionalities are features that enable users to click-through the sales and business processes. Marketing functionalities are features that promote the web-store and its products. Revenue functionalities are features that allow web-stores to monetize business opportunities. The literature review revealed that online media providers tended to provide additional features or services to stay ahead of competitors (Chu et al. 2007). Invariably, the new feature of the website falls under one of the three main categories identified above. The three categories of functionalities that are proposed as a comprehensive model to evaluate the success of an E-tailer operate at this middle layer. Figure 1 depicts the proposed E-tailer Platform Functionality Model which will be used as a framework for empirical analysis.

Figure 1.

E-tailer platform functionality model

Key Terms in this Chapter

Features and Functionalities: Design attributes comprising competitive aspects which are “must have” factors to grow the business or “hygiene” factors which e-tailers consider “nice to have”.

Design Thinking: The art of conceptualizing functional requirements and possible solutions for typical applications.

Revenue Functions: Covers the secure payment and associated functions of a web transaction.

Systems Modeling: High level specifications of the design and configuration of a web store for the purpose of design review and later implementation.

Marketing Functions: Covers the product, price, placement and promotion functions of a web store, typically within an online product catalog.

Transactions Functions: Covers the work flow and logic of how users become customers when they transact with a web store.

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