The evolution of the digital service ecosystem and digital business model innovation in retail: The emergence of meta-ecosystems and the value of physical interactions

Maximilian Palmié, Lucas Miehé, Pejvak Oghazi*, Vinit Parida, Joakim Wincent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

As e-commerce has increasingly gained traction in the retail market, many traditional “brick-and-mortar” retailers are innovating their business models and making the transition towards digital business models. While scholars have started to examine the influence of digitalization on various business model elements, they have so far paid little attention to its implications on the external relationships in which firms engage for value creation. Building on a qualitative analysis of seventeen interviews, this study develops a two-stage framework for the transition to digital business models. In Stage 1, retailers collaborate with specialized service providers to implement a digital business model. As firms from the retail ecosystem collaborate with firms from the digital-service ecosystem to create a value proposition for end-customers, a meta-ecosystem emerges. In Stage 2, firms (retailers) seek to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the meta-ecosystem. Physical interactions with the digital service providers, the product suppliers, and the customers are a primary means towards this end. Thus, digitalization does not make physical interactions and close personal ties obsolete. Our study has substantial implications for the academic literature and management practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121496
Peer-reviewed scientific journalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume177
ISSN0040-1625
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19.01.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • digital business model
  • digital business model innovation
  • ecosystem
  • ecosystem emergence
  • digital transformation
  • digital service
  • digitization
  • retail

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