Title: Critical success factors for digital platforms in B2B and B2C environments: an explicative multiple case study approach

Authors: Anika Berens; Stefan Kolb; Heiko Haase

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 2, 07745 Jena, Germany ' BASF SE, Performance Materials Europe – Digital Innovation, 67056 Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany ' Department of Business Administration, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 2, 07745 Jena, Germany

Abstract: Digital platforms belong to the fastest growing businesses in today's world. This paper explores critical success factors for the establishment of such platforms, focusing on both the B2B and B2C context. For this purpose, it uses a novel and confirmative qualitative approach, conducting explicative case studies of six globally leading digital platforms. Although all research theses investigated (business model's frontend and backend, agility, team diversity, ecosystem partnerships, visionary leadership and growth engines) were relevant for the analysed platforms, pivoting and branding strategy resulted as outstanding success factors. From a theoretical viewpoint, the paper contributes to enhancing the knowledge about the underlying drivers of digital platform businesses and offers options for future research. In practical terms, the outcomes contribute to effective platform creation and management. In particular, factors such as first-mover strategies, technology and design, frictionless entering, transparent information and ease of use lead to certain competitive advantages of digital platforms.

Keywords: digital platform; success factors; business-to-business; B2B; business-to-consumer; B2C; explicative case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBFMI.2019.104045

International Journal of Business Forecasting and Marketing Intelligence, 2019 Vol.5 No.3, pp.346 - 370

Received: 01 Jun 2019
Accepted: 08 Jun 2019

Published online: 09 Dec 2019 *

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