Analysis of Virtual Markets
In our previous articles, we have tried to show that digital markets are not reduced to real markets where information circulates better. They don’t have to be markets closer to perfect markets.
In these circumstances, it is not surprising that empirical analyzes of already established digital markets highlight neither more active nor less dispersed prices, neither price elasticity nor greater dynamism in pricing.
It has an inventory of available empirical studies on the functioning of digital markets.
We presented the results of the comparison between real markets and digital markets according to four dimensions:
- The level of prices charged: Is the same product sold at a lower price on the Web?
- Price elasticity of demand: Are consumers more sensitive to price changes on the Web?
- Catalog costs (menu costs): These are the costs required to change prices. Do electronic merchants change their prices more often than real merchants?
- Distribution of prices in digital markets: Is the gap between the highest and lowest price on the Web for the same good decreasing?
Concerning the level of prices charged, the results are uncertain. In 1996 and 1998, prices, similar products and services on the Web were higher than in real markets.
On the contrary, in 1999, even taking into account the costs of delivering goods, prices on the Web appear to be 9 to 16% lower than in real markets.
Regarding the elasticity of demand, the provision of very detailed and easily accessible information that digital markets allow seems to reduce the price sensitivity of consumers that much.
Regarding price dynamics and catalog costs, it has been seen that online merchants make price changes more frequently and on a smaller scale, and offer lower catalogs on the Web.
Finally, with regard to the price distribution on the Web, neither in 1998 nor in 1999 showed any difference in price distribution between the Web and real commerce.
These distributions are very high for both market types. For example, 50% for books and CDs.
Therefore, we conclude that the authenticity of digital markets is mainly due to greater activity and no reduction in various frictions that constrain real markets.
Even if information flows better, it is not primarily used to make markets more perfect in the context of the static balance between supply and demand.
INFORMATION COLLECTION BY SELLERS
The model previously described and discussed, on the one hand, provides consumers with better tools to compare products. On the other hand, it is characterized by the fact that traders have less costly means to adapt prices to demand.
Below we will try to identify a different pattern, closer to what we are currently observing on the Web.
The feature of this model is:
— Consumers do not use Web tools to compare product prices and quality. They use the internet to exchange information among themselves about the features of products (Also these exchanges are only part of the surfer’s relationship with each other).
These exchanges create club and fashion influences. It may even cause permanent changes in utility functions.
— Companies use Web tools to learn about consumers and the evolution of their tastes, not to define more complex pricing.
This information is used to segment demand and differentiate their products from actual markets much more effectively.
On the contrary, markets are not becoming more fluid. They are more and more precisely divided into sections.
The structure of the audience (i.e. the distribution of surfers across sites) serves as a guide for customer segmentation. Information collected by web companies can be used to differentiate products and services.
From now on, the term mediation will refer to this mutual learning process between supply and demand.
The reason they allow for this dynamic adjustment between an as-yet-undefined supply and an as-yet-undisclosed demand is that free markets outperform any central scheme that can only achieve static equilibria.
Electronic Distribution Requirements
Two effects on the organization of markets emerge against the background of electronic distribution.
The first has to do with the type of testing that the transaction creates and how it relates to the way markets are coordinated and organized. At one extreme, we would have a situation where information is scarce, goods characteristics are clear and few in number, customer relationships are weak in information content and are rare or intermittent.
We then find ourselves in the context of a transactional market. The transaction or price is determined a priori for the characteristics of the goods and the actors with defined clear preferences and utility functions.
The market itself has little memory and moves slowly. The consumer is the result of a sum of all their buying behavior. The feedback of consumption on production takes place in slow time and according to long socio-technical chains.
At the other extreme, we would have a situation where information is rich and abundant, product descriptions are complex, and information-rich, frequent and interactive testing and transactions.
The market then became definitional. The transaction and the price at which it is carried out are frozen and confirm the description of the products, their usefulness and the preferences of the consumer.
This market is changing rapidly. Goods have a career, and their properties change over the course of exchanges, as well as consumers’ preferences and utility functions.
Variations are fast. Historicity and memory play an important role in this form of market organization. Feedback on the definition of the offer from consumption apps is fast in a short loop.
The faster and cheaper this feedback, the more co-produced the transaction and the object, the supply and the demand. That is, it develops towards the coordination characteristic of service contracts.
Within this mode of coordination, services can be effectively compared, as in standardized service contracts.
On the contrary, it will be necessary to distinguish the way in which it is very difficult to compare, since they are linked by implied and informal contracts. There should be codable aspects of the interactions of actors promoting the effects of opacity in the organization of markets and partnerships.
Therefore, our field analysis of the electronic distribution of tangible goods by mass distribution players shows the possibility of a transition from the coordinating feature of a transactional and anonymous market to a defined and personalized market.
Now, taking a broader view and relying on the few studies presented in this issue, we can attempt to sketch an ideal type of market coordination specific to electronic distribution in a universe structured by dense information networks.
Therefore, it can be summarized in four important points.
— It is the transition from commercial rationality based on economies of scale to commercial rationality based on economies of scope. The problem of selling products to as many customers as possible has been replaced by the problem of selling all the services he needs to the same customer.
— There is a highly diversified structure of sectors and partnership forms, which makes it possible to increase the cost of leaving. It is an inseparable packaging of combined products and services (Separation destroys the investments made to establish the necessary harmony of supply and demand). These economies of scope largely correspond to the strategies of aggregated portals.
— The opposite of the commercial ideal where anonymous and knowledgeable actors exchange in a memoryless market. It is heavily equipped with connectivity and feedback tools, where instant coordination is essentially price-based.
— A personalized service that associates a tailored set of products and services around a particular customer. Prices may then depend on the singularity and the nature of the service as a whole. This may be affected by the overall value of the customer. This is defined beyond the commercial realm of individual transactions and includes both relational and expectation dimensions.
Each of these points, taken separately, is likely to fall within the usual industrial or commercial frameworks.
For example, price differentiation can be observed in an industrial context that is both flexible and oriented towards volume and production. This is the case of yield management. But it does not necessarily see the obvious effects of customer personalization or intensification.
Or, the diversification of services for the general public can be observed outside of the Internet, through the strategy of large retailers to offer financial, insurance or travel services.
It is therefore the unification of these disparate elements into a coherent whole that raises the question of a new form of coordination.
To arrive at the hypothesis of a radically innovative model of economic profitability of the Internet involved in the articulation of the commercial and non-commercial Web, there is the “3Cs rule” in the media.
Put more strictly in economic terms, it is necessary to combine the four terms of the ideal type formed above.
In such an ideal typical market, professional competition is aimed at capturing a well-known customer for all of his needs, not buying a generally known customer.
Therefore, it is important to capture a target audience, maintain an individual and personalized relationship with each member, anticipate meeting future needs.
Building loyalty through all free and paid services offered electronically and according to a system is also an important issue.
Freedom of Information
Indirectly, it is assumed that the flow of information in digital markets is free. But as the costs of data collection, processing and transportation decrease, the question of ownership of information arises in a new way.
Does a search engine have the right to use information previously collected by another site?
The siege strategy, which involves separation between a site and the end customer, is close to free-riding even where the service rendered is not negligible.
For now, such a situation is accepted by search engines. The same is not true for shop robots.
In general, it is about accessing information available on the Web.
Will merchant sites have the right to refuse to be spied on by store robots? Admittedly yes, but would it be in their interest to reduce their potential audience in this way? Can a site refuse to receive links from another site?
Undoubtedly yes. But North American case law seems to be geared towards freedom of linking without first asking the authority of the site to which one is pointing (provided, however, that one does not resort to frameworks to impose advertising).
Can an engine refuse to be interrogated by a software agent and not by a human client?
The bottom line is the commercial value of hypertext links and Web browsing support services that will greatly condition the fluidity of the markets for the end customer.
Are prices acceptable to consumers in virtual markets?
The Internet enables companies and distributors to expand their yield management techniques by providing advanced and rapidly updated pricing tools.
Using the example of air transport, some economists have wondered whether such prices are acceptable to consumers, as they challenge the impression of fair prices.
Thus, he argues, the risk of over-optimized prices appearing arbitrary and unfair to the point where it will be driven to regulation.
Even regardless of their acceptability, prices defined in a market from the interaction of negotiating agents with pricing agents do not always lead to equilibrium states, not to mention optimal states.
For example, simulations performed by IBM on populations of trading agents depend on the learning algorithms used.
This indicates that the total surplus may be higher or lower and may also be more or less confiscated by trade intermediaries.
The very low cost of exchanging and processing information today, therefore, does not necessarily lead to better functioning of the markets.
With the increasing ability of customers to compare products come more sophisticated ways of setting and changing prices. Such more complex markets are not necessarily more active. They are arguably more indecisive.
The Importance of Brand Attachment in Virtual Markets
Due to the information asymmetry between the seller and the buyer, the seller must be able to make a reliable commitment to the features of the product and the services to be provided thereafter. (After-sales service, supply, supply) Conversely, the buyer must be able to guarantee his solvency to the buyer.
Thus, confidence is a fundamental element of market action. In the case of virtual markets, this is even more true, both due to the greater presence of interested players, the global expansion of markets, and, finally, the proliferation of direct sales between individuals.
It is therefore necessary for players to be able to build a reputation, which auction sites allow, for example, by providing a ranking of sellers and buyers based on the history of their exchange.
More generally, third party services may provide information and insurance services. It can even provide escrow services for goods or payments.
Such systems seem effective at creating relative trust, at least in the case of routine exchanges. To some extent, the trust thus created replaces the trust built around a brand, a manufacturer, or a distributor.
It should be noted that this new source of trust resides on a third-party site that monitors those who interact and publishes a quality index.
Brand power will shift, at least in part, from manufacturers and distributors to mediation websites. What would be the dynamics of brands on the Web then? How would they rule? Would they be more involved than in actual markets?
Comparing the web and traditional media highlights an extreme distribution of viewers (if we compare sites to some kind of channel or program).
This is generally an indication that when e-commerce develops, the customer base will be very dispersed and the branding power of the sites will weaken relatively.
However, simulations on theoretical Webs of identical sites show that brand loyalty (the tendency to return to sites already visited) and reputation impact.
On the real Web, for example, in forums, chats, personal sites, etc. given that exchanges between internet users are so frequent, customers are more likely to focus on trademarks than existing brands.
Elon Musk’a para cezası
Rekabet Kurulu, Elon Musk’a Twitter’in Türkiye’deki gayri safi gelirinin binde biri oranında idari para cezası verdi.
Rekabet Kurulu, Twitter şirketinin Elon Musk tarafından satın alınması işleminin izin alınmadan gerçekleşmesi nedeniyle, Twitter’in Türkiye’deki gayri safi gelirlerinin binde biri oranında idari para cezası verdi.
Rekabet Kurulu, Türkiye’de de faaliyeti ya da iştiraki bulunan uluslararası satış ve birleşme gibi şirket işlemlerine onay veriyor. Bu çerçevede Twitter’in Elon Musk tarafından satın alınması da Rekabet Kurulu’nun inceleme kapsamına giriyor.
Buna karşılık, devralma işlemi için Rekabet Kurulu’na başvurulmadığı belirtilen açıklamada, “Bununla birlikte, dosya konusu işlemin Rekabet Kurulunun izni olmaksızın gerçekleştirilmesi nedeniyle, 4054 sayılı Rekabetin Korunması Hakkında Kanun’un 16. maddesinin birinci fıkrasının (b) bendi uyarınca devralan konumundaki işlem tarafı olan Elon R. MUSK’a 2022 yılına ait Türkiye’de elde edilen gayri safi gelirinin binde biri oranında olmak üzere idari para cezası uygulanmasına karar verildiği” duyuruldu.
Elon Musk’ın 60 gün içinde Ankara İdare Mahkemelerine başvurma hakkı bulunuyor.
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