A FIELD EXPERIMENT: GROWING TWO-SIDED NETWORKS BY ADVERTISING THE USER BASE

This study was conducted by Professor Catherine Tucker and Professor Juanjuan Zhang of the MIT Sloan School of Management. It was published online ahead of print on March 10, 2010.

At a time in which online platforms are being utilized in any number of different sectors, this particular study was based on a field experiment which most of us don’t have the opportunity to conduct. How much of this is good information in terms of motivating either buyer or seller activity on exchange or transactional platforms is problematic. But there are some specific takeaways that are valuable. For example, the notion that the existence of many sellers deters further seller listings and the display of the number of sellers in relationship to a larger number of buyers will motivate more listings, are interesting.

Unfortunately, it is not totally clear in this study as to what, at the end of the day, is the most optimal way of addressing the amount of information that should be displayed. Take a look and see if you can figure it out for yourself.

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