Exploring Consumers' Willingness to Contribute to Internet Web Sites

Exploring Consumers' Willingness to Contribute to Internet Web Sites

Benedict G.C. Dellaert (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-97-1.ch009
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One of the most interesting opportunities when introducing e-commerce in producer consumer networks is that the new information technology structure may be used to empower consumers to be more active participants in the economic value creation process (e.g., Hoffman and Novak, 1996; Alba et al., 1997). Consumers may for example create their own personalized version of a Web site or services, or communicate with other consumers about products they have bought. Many Internet-based firms have recognized the potential benefits of these opportunities and are encouraging consumers to make contributions to their Web sites. Some examples of Web sites encouraging various types of consumer contributions are presented in Table 1. Allowing consumers to contribute more actively to different stages of the supply chain can create three main types of economic benefits. First, consumers can assist producers in achieving lower production costs and creating higher consumption utility for the consumer’s own benefit (e.g., by lowering transaction costs or by allowing producers to make more customized products). Secondly, they can also assist producers in generating similar benefits for other consumers. Thirdly, the Internet can be a vehicle through which consumers can generate additional value for each other, directly and without business intermediation (e.g., by providing suggestions for new product designs or by sharing information about past consumption experiences).

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