Digital Transaction Platforms: Forms, Mechanisms and Outcomes - A collection of essays

Mikko Hänninen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


In this dissertation, I explore the forms, mechanisms and outcomes of digital transaction platforms for both customers and complementors. Understanding these questions is important,as despite the large theoretical and managerial interest towards digital transaction platforms and the platform economy, there is yet little theoretical and empirical understanding of their full transformative effects. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to contribute more reliable empirical generalizations of digital transaction platforms in the retail and consumer services context. This dissertation consists of an introduction chapter, followed by five distinct essays. These essays draw on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The first essay captures what we know, and we don't know about digital transaction platforms, through a broad review of research on digital transaction platforms in marketing journals. The second essay explores the changes mediated by digital transaction platforms across the marketing and retail domain by drafting a multi-sided marketplace service system framework to characterize digital transaction platforms.The third essay explores the platform business model and the mechanisms through which digital transaction platform are transforming the retail sector, through a study of four leading digital transaction platforms. The fourth essay focuses on identifying the effects of digital platform use and adoption for complementors, through a study of complementors using a digital transaction platform. Finally, the fifth essay explores how digital transaction platforms are changing customer behavior, through a study of customer behavior on a digital transaction platform. The results of this dissertation contribute to literature by defining and understanding how firmand customer behavior changes when transitioning from traditional marketing and sales channels to digital transaction platforms. This dissertation shows that digital transaction platforms are fundamentally changing how customers and complementors interact and transact. Besides opening new markets, for example by reducing transaction and search costs that previously made many transactions inefficient and costly, the essays show that digital transaction platforms are changing the behavior of platform users by empowering new digital control tools and making offerings more standardized and commoditized. This is making many marketing concepts, such as customer loyalty less relevant today, as through digital transaction platforms, customers are able to move away from long-term customer relationships, and towards individual, infrequent,transactions with a large number of potential transaction partners. Here the platform provides the interface for customers to continuously search for the best possible bargains and deals.
Translated title of the contributionDigital Transaction Platforms: Forms, Mechanisms and Outcomes - A collection of essays
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Lindblom, Arto, Supervising Professor
  • Mitronen, Lasse, Thesis Advisor
  • Smedlund, Anssi, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-3801-8
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-3804-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • digital platforms
  • platform economy
  • transaction cost economics
  • behavioral economics
  • service science
  • services
  • retail


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