Anindita Chakravarty, Alok Kumar, & Rajdeep Grewal
Customer Orientation Structure for
Internet-based business-to-business platforms involve a buyer side transacting with a seller side, both of which are
customers of an intermediary platform firm. Dyadic viewpoints implicit in conventional theories of customer orientation
thus must be modified to apply to a triadic relationship system (seller-platform-buyer) in platform settings. The authors
propose that customer orientation of platform firms consists of total customer orientation (customer orientation toward
both the buyer and seller sides) and customer orientation asymmetry (customer orientation in favor of the seller
relative to the buyer side) and examine the antecedents and consequences of these orientations. Data from 109
business-to-business electronic platforms reveal that buyer- (seller-) side concentration increases total customer
orientation and customer orientation asymmetry toward sellers (buyers). These positive effects are weaker when
buyers and sellers interact directly (two-sided matching) versus indirectly (one-sided matching) and are stronger when
the offering prices vary (dynamic price discovery) versus remain stable (static price discovery) during negotiations.
Finally, total customer orientation increases platform performance by itself and in interaction with customer
concentration, but orientation asymmetry increases performance only in conjunction with customer concentration.
K e y w o rd s : customer relationship marketing, business-to-business marketing, customer orientation, electronic
Thus, multisided platforms are distinct from traditional B2B
relationships, in which the interaction between different
sides is not a condition for value generation; for example,
Ford’s suppliers are not viewed as its customers or required
to interact with Ford’s customers (i.e., automobile buyers).