Value co-creation through interaction : The how’s and why’s of B2B e-commerce

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013); Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013)

Abstract: Today, manufacturing firms have started using e-commerce to sell their products and services online. The adoption of e-commerce has made it possible to move the interaction that has traditionally been made between a salesperson and customer through telephone or e-mail, towards making transactions online. However, even though e-commerce can help increase revenue or create competitive advantages, it is important for firms to understand the interaction that occurs when value is co-created in ecommerce. It is evident that there are strong drivers, but also challenges that firms need to be aware of in order to form a successful e-commerce strategy. Since little research exists on the interaction that takes place when value is co-created through e-commerce, the purpose of this study is to describe this interaction along with drivers and challenges that are associated with it. To answer the research questions, a qualitative study was conducted by interviewing managers from B2B manufacturing firms that are using ecommerce. The results show that interaction between provider and customer is improved by e-commerce. Easy access to information and new digital value proposals were found to be central interactions. Traditional dialogue is largely replaced by the ability for self-service, where the customer can themselves access information and manage orders. The main driver for providers to use e-commerce is strategic/competitive advantages with secondary drivers being efficiency/lower internal costs, and increased revenue. There are challenges associated with e-commerce. Primarily system integration and data security. The results from this research suggest that manufacturing firms should consider e-commerce in order to improve interaction with their customers to stay competitive in the future.

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