Institute of Electronic Commerce and Digital Markets

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Digital Platforms

Platforms are intermediaries that facilitate the economic exchange of two groups of agents. Due to digitization, numerous digital platforms have developed that either constitute new business models or that offer traditional business processes in a more efficient manner, which often has disruptive effects on existing industries. Such new business models range across all industries, from the classic exchange of goods (eg. ebay, Etsy) to networking (eg. Facebook, Xing) to the exchange of services (eg. airbnb, Uber). The aim of our research is to analyze consumer behavior on such digital platforms. Currently, our focus is on online dating and the Sharing Economy.

In the context of online dating, we analyze customer behavior on online dating platforms. On the one hand, we focus on churn behavior and investigate the peculiarity about online dating that customers terminate their memberships although they are satisfied, e.g. because they have found a partner. We also analyze the communication behavior on these platforms. For our analysis, we use quantitative-empirical methods.
With regard to the Sharing Economy, we analyze the consumer decision between buying and sharing and which impact factors lead consumers to use sharing alternatives, i.e., renting products on-demand instead of buying them. Based on observational data, we investigate in a current project how context, price, and competition affect the booking and prolonged use of a sharing service.


  • Dating Platforms
  • Sharing Economy



  • Drive Now


  • DFG
  • Internet Business Cluster e.V.


Publications of the research area 'Digital Platforms'