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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 579;

An Optimal Strategic Business Model for Small Businesses Using Online Platforms

Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Interaction Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 25-2 Sungkyunwan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03063, Korea
Graduate School of Management of Technology, Hoseo University, Asan 31499, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in E-Business)
Full-Text   |   PDF [238 KB, uploaded 26 February 2018]


As ecommerce continues to grow, small businesses are using a variety of platforms to secure potential consumers. However, it is important for small business owners to choose an efficient business model because of constraints such as technical problems. In this study, based on platform characteristics we divide online shopping platforms into different types as follows: (1) information brokerage services; (2) online malls; and (3) omni-channel platforms. The efficiency of each group is measured by stochastic frontier analysis, and the efficiency comparison between the groups is made using meta-frontier analysis. As a result of the study, it is found that the efficiency of small business owners increases as functional integration increases, satisfying utilitarian motivations. However, a platform with greater integration that has a social presence satisfying hedonic motivations improves the efficiency of all small businesses using the platform instead of just the efficiency of a marginal number of small business owners. This study, based on the dynamic capabilities viewpoint, suggests that the omni-channel platform represents the most sustainable approach for small business owners undergoing difficulties such as technological and organizational changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: strategies for small businesses; online marketplace; technical efficiency; online shopping platforms strategies for small businesses; online marketplace; technical efficiency; online shopping platforms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, H.; Lee, D.; Ryu, M.H. An Optimal Strategic Business Model for Small Businesses Using Online Platforms. Sustainability 2018, 10, 579.

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