Social media, interactive tools that change business model dynamics
Rodriguez Donaire, Silvia
- Publisher: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
:Economia i organització d'empreses [Àrees temàtiques de la UPC] | 33 | small-medium enterprises | business model innovation | web 2.0 | business model | social media
The aim of this research is two-folded. On the one hand, it attempts to assist
employers of Catalan micro-retailers in designing, implementing and developing their
Social Media strategy as a complementary channel of communication. On the other
hand, it attempts to contribute to the research community with a better understanding
on both which building block of the micro-retailer¿s Business Model is more
influenced by the customer level of interaction by means of the Social Media and how
a transformation can be observed in the micro-retailers¿ Business Models as a result
of the Social Media implementation.
The research question to be answered in this paper is how the transformation of the
activity system of the micro-retailers¿ Business Model would allow the emergence of
a Participatory Business Model by means of Social Media. To carry out this research
the Participatory Action Research methodology was used, whose contribution has two
results: the one is more practitioner oriented and the other is more academic.
The incipient results of the research showed a scarce transformation of Catalan microretailer¿s
business model as a consequence of the implementation of social media.
However, it is significant enough to be considered as more than just a simple adoption
of an alternative channel of communication.
One of the main contributions is related to how customer influences the activity
system of the micro-retailer¿s business model beyond four levels of customer
interaction (communication, interaction, participation and collaboration) by means of
social media. On the one hand, the activity system of a business model is referred to
the eight building blocks of Osterwalder, Pigneur and Tucci (2005) research that
includes customer segment, customer relationship, distribution channel, capabilities,
partner, value configuration, value proposition, profit and cost. On the other hand, the
four defined levels of customer interaction are based on the literature of group
The results showed that not all the building blocks forming the business model are
influenced by consumer interaction. The only building blocks influenced by an initial
communication level in the current social media strategy implementation stage of our
sample (five micro-retailers) are the following: customer segment, customer
relationship, distribution channel, value proposition and cost. This incipient stage of
transformation can be justified by a lack of effort made due to the small size of the
business and a lack of team working inside the companies, easily adapting to changes.
It can also be justified by the fact it was carried out by the micro-retailers only during
a short period of time (14 month).
Another contribution of the paper shows that Social Media transformation drives a
BM innovation according to the following mediator elements: (1) the dynamic
capabilities, (2) the ability of learning, (3) the dedicated effort, (4) the implementation
time and (5) the level of customer participation.