Evolution of Consumer Preference on Digital Platforms: Implications on Search, Product and Pricing Strategies
This dissertation studies the evolution of consumer taste on digital platforms and its implication on consumers' searching behaviors, firms' product feature design and pricing strategies. Chapter 1 analyzes the clickstream point-of-sale data from a hotel searching website and empirically finds that consumers have different hidden states in the searching process and their price and quality sensitivity changes over the purchase funnel. Chapter 2 assumes that consumers tend to prefer the feature design of their previous consumption and theoretically discovers that this consumer taste shift enhances firms' competition, opposite to the strategic impact of most first-mover advantages like switching costs. When the service suppliers are also consumers for the digital platforms in sharing economy, Chapter 3 analytically searches for the optimal pricing and compensation design from the perceptive of the platforms. We offer significant contribution to the literature in Marketing and Information Systems and provide useful managerial implications to product searching platforms, digital product feature design and the debate of identifying workers as independent contractors or employees in sharing economy.