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The platform competition with multihoming on both sides in the omnichannel – —fee or subsidy?

Wentao Zhan (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Minghui Jiang (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Xueping Wang (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Da Huo (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Han Jiang (Department of Financial Services Authority, Harbin Municipal Government, Harbin, China)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

Issue publication date: 13 February 2024

257

Abstract

Purpose

Omnichannel has become increasingly important with the development of e-commerce. In omnichannel, merchants expect customers to get the products and services at anytime, anywhere and in any way, and the same is true for customers. This drives multihoming in online platforms for both merchants and customers. Thus, once both customers and merchants are multihomed, what price and subsidy decisions should be made between platforms to compete to obtain optimal profits? The main purpose of this paper is to solve these problems and provide decision-making for two-sided platforms in omnichannel.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds a dual Hotelling model to capture the utility and network effects of customers and merchants on two-sided platforms. This study introduces the exposure effect and convenience effect of multihomed customers and merchants in the model and analyzes the impact of these effects in the market with multihoming on one side. Then, this study extends the model to the market with multihoming on both sides and makes the pricing decision for two-sided platform when considering the exposure effect and convenience effect through an equilibrium solution. Finally, this study also uses numerical analysis to simulate the decision and profit of the platform.

Findings

This paper finds that the convenience effect will only increase social welfare when customers are single-homed and merchants are multihomed. In addition, when both users are multihomed, the platform will subsidize to attract merchants and customers if the convenience effect and exposure effect are relatively high. This study also finds that network effects come not only from the same platform but also from another platform in the case with multihoming on both sides. And network effects in the heterogeneous platform will be reduced by the convenience effect and exposure effect.

Originality/value

According to the behavioral characteristics of merchants and customers in omnichannel, this paper first adopts the dual Hotelling model to study the pricing of two-sided platforms with multihoming on both sides. This paper shows that network effects originate not only from the same platform but also from another platform and that the exposure effect and the convenience effect can exist as cross-platform network effects, which provides a new explanation for network effects in markets with multihoming on both sides. This research extends the theory of network effects and plays an important role in the development of two-sided platforms in omnichannel.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant No. 71502044.

Citation

Zhan, W., Jiang, M., Wang, X., Huo, D. and Jiang, H. (2024), "The platform competition with multihoming on both sides in the omnichannel – —fee or subsidy?", Kybernetes, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 1039-1060. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-06-2022-0869

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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