Goal of this research

The goal of this research is to make an addition to existing theory about consumer surplus in the Internet economy, and in particular the contribution of customization. As became clear in the literature, not much research is being done about customization for pure digital products and services in the Internet economy. The majority of the available research is about e-commerce where tangible products are being sold or delivered through intangible services, while other research focuses on mass customization. Also existing literature mainly focuses on supplier surplus. This research will address pure intangible products, in other words on-line delivered content where both product and channel are digital, and instead of the supplier surplus, this research focuses more on consumer surplus.

The goal of this research is to identify characteristics to support customization for suppliers in such a way that it can decrease search costs for consumers dramatically, so variety or increased choice can be maximized. Variety, or increased choice, is positively related to consumer surplus (Brynjolfsson et al., 2003). I would make an addition to their findings by relating increased variety with customization and personalization, which can amplify each other in the Internet economy. The consumer should benefit from this increase in variety and customization, while search costs are being lowered dramatically.


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