|Title:||Examining "peer-to-peer" (P2P) systems as consumer-to-consumer (C2C) exchange|
|Author(s):||Plouffe, C. R.|
|Citation:||PLOUFFE, C. R. 2008. Examining "peer-to-peer" (P2P) systems as consumer-to-consumer (C2C) exchange. European Journal of Marketing, 42, 1179-1202.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||After providing an overview of the project to several large entry-level marketing classes (total n=345) at a Carnegie I research university, all interested students provided their name and a preferred email address. At the conclusion of data collection, 116 usable survey responses had been registered, representing a 43.9 percent response rate. The mean respondent age was 21.3 years. In terms of gender, 65 respondents were male (or 56 percent) and 51 (or 44 percent) were female.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Purpose – The exchange of goods between individual consumers being facilitated by the internet and “peer-to-peer” (P2P) systems is severely altering the business landscape. In broader terms, P2P exchanges are a form of what has occasionally been labeled “consumer-to-consumer” (C2C) exchange. What little work there is in business research which has examined both C2C and P2P exchange has to-date been largely anecdotal or conceptual. This paper aims to address these shortcomings. Design/methodology/approach – A model of antecedents germane to the P2P phenomenon is formulated and empirically tested which includes the consumer’s satisfaction with, extent of usage of, and future behavioral intentions toward P2P exchanges as the focal endogenous constructs of interest. Findings – The model is tested with perceptual and archival data from a survey of consumers active in one prevalent form of P2P exchange (i.e. the “swapping” of pirated music). The model explains significant variance in all three focal endogenous constructs. Research limitations/implications – The primary limitations include the study’s exploratory nature and not being able to incorporate all potentially salient constructs and variables germane to the P2P phenomenon within the context of the study reported here. Additionally, and from a sampling perspective, a more heterogeneous sample may benefit future research. Practical implications – The key insight emerging from the work is that the wide prevalence of P2P exchanges occurring globally between consumers has more to do with unexplored aspects of the phenomenon (such as its convenience; the “connectedness” it makes consumers feel to others) and seemingly much less to do with traditional marketing mix variables. Originality/value – While much has been written in the practitioner ranks and popular press about the problem of P2P exchanges, this work represents one of the first empirical studies of the antecedent drivers of the phenomenon. As is articulated in the paper’s concluding sections, from a more embracing frame of reference, P2P systems and “consumer-to-consumer” exchanges are not the dire threats many marketing managers believe them to be. Challenges remain, however, for marketers to determine how to best harness these powerful new systems.
Main Results of the Study
- Thinking in broader terms about our findings and the P2P phenomenon, a transformation of a seemingly irreversible nature has occurred with the advent of P2P systems which has titled the power inherent in the exchange relationship into the consumer’s favor within key consumption categories.
- The rise of P2P exchange also signals that the consumer’s unfettered acceptance of traditional consumption formats, distribution modalities, and pricing systems is waning. For example, many consumers no longer want product components which they find unappealing or wasteful (e.g. unliked songs on a music CD).
- In short, P2P systems seem to have provided the technological foundation and impetus for consumers to do what anecdotal accounts have strongly signaled they have wanted to do for some time – that being to consume certain categories of goods a-la-carte, in ways which best suit their specific lifestyles and individual tastes.
- From a management perspective, the implication is that media-oriented businesses (e.g. music, film, software etc.) appear stuck in the conundrum that they are legacy industries intricately linked to neoclassic economic models of exchange and distribution – and the assumptions upon which they are predicated.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
P2P systems simultaneously represent both an unprecedented threat and a tremendous opportunity for marketers in specific industries (Bloom, 2005). Thinking more clearly about both the experiential drivers (i.e. the individual’s past experience with technology in general, and P2P systems more specifically) as well as salient individual-level perceptual constructs (e.g. the “convenience” and “community connectedness” P2P systems confer) will better enable marketers to successfully harness these powerful technologies in specific consumption modalities and industries (Denegri-Knott et al., 2006).
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||Not stated|