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Abstract

Digital platforms need to attract both application developers and end users. Existing literature suggests various strategies related to openness, flexibility, and generativity to attract application developers. However, how consumers make decisions on adopting platforms has not been studied. This paper studies which characteristics of digital platforms consumers most prefer. We focus on mobile platforms where application stores, operator portals, and service provider platforms compete for the consumer’s attention. We conducted a conjoint analysis among 166 consumers to determine the most important characteristics of the mobile platforms. We found that application-related characteristics were most important, especially the number of available applications. Governance-related and technical characteristics were hardly important. Platform characteristics were considerably less important than the brand of the operating system linked to the platform. These findings were consistent between European and Chinese users, and between males and females. The study paves the way for IS scholars to integrate consumer perspectives in the provider-dominated discourse of digital platforms.

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