Title: Two-stage pricing strategy for personal cloud storage: free trial and the cloud security risk

Authors: Mengdi Yao; Donglin Chen

Addresses: School of Literature, Law, and Economics, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430065, China; Blockchain and Social Governance Research Institute, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430065, China ' School of Economics, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, 430070, China

Abstract: A common approach to attract potential cloud users is to offer a two-stage pricing strategy to enhance the perceived value. This value is based on the willingness of diverse cloud users to pay and the market stages of cloud storage providers (CSPs). However, the risk of breaching cloud security in the free trial stage due to the sharing of personal cloud storage products (PCSPs) may decrease the number of cloud users. Consequently, the study proposes a two-stage pricing strategy to make a trade-off between the cloud security risk and the perceived value. Furthermore, it aims to uncover the conditions under different security risk coefficients. It selects the optimal pricing strategy to help CSPs determine the free trial time and optimal price. Our findings can provide helpful insight in devising an optimal pricing strategy by CSPs considering security risks, which assures the safety of PCSPs and benefits CSPs by increasing profits.

Keywords: personal cloud storage products; two-stage pricing strategy; free trial; cloud security risk; cloud storage providers; CSPs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSNET.2022.122980

International Journal of Sensor Networks, 2022 Vol.39 No.1, pp.56 - 66

Received: 20 Jul 2021
Accepted: 20 Jul 2021

Published online: 19 May 2022 *

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