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Internet-based procurement services: A consumers perspective

: Klafft, M.

Berlin, 2008, 124 pp.
Berlin, Univ., Diss., 2008
Fraunhofer ISST ()
procurement platform; consumer; peer-to-peer lending; technology acceptance; critical sucess factor

The internet has provided ordinary consumers with a whole range of new, improved or enhanced procurement tools since it became widely available to the general public in the nineties. In recent years, four types of net-based procurement support services attracted in particular the focus of public attention: (1) Reverse auction platforms, which have been available to consumers since 2004 and allow ordinary buyers to auction contracts for the delivery of crafts and services online, (2) Request-for-proposal platforms, which go beyond reverse auctions in the sense that they allow buyers to choose without restrictions among all bidding suppliers (or not to select any supplier at all), (3) Peer-to-peer lending platforms, which facilitate the procurement of loans outside the traditional bankin g system since about 2005, and (4) Personal shopping assistants and mobile consumer information services, which provide consumers with product-relevant information at the point of sale since 2003 when a first pilot application was launched in Metro AGs future store. All these services have been controversially debated in the public. One key issue of these discussions has been if inexperienced and sometimes also ill-informed consumers will be able to use the services to their own benefit. How likely are users to become victims of opportunistic behaviour in the pseudonymous online environment? Will users be able to obtain the information or the goods which they need? How will they deal with the inherent risks of the new services? And will they be satisfied enough to continue using them in the long term? This thesis discusses the four procurement service types presented above from a consumers perspective. Data from exploratory and empirical studies are aggregated into a holistic assessment of the services long-term viability.