Abstract

Launching multi-sided platforms is challenging as providers have to gather a critical mass of users in multiple target groups. Various `launch strategies’ can be derived from existing platform literature, such as price subsidization, platform openness and coring. However, studies on the utility of these launch strategies for informing design choices in practice are largely lacking. This paper evaluates the utility of launch strategies for a multi-sided platform offering data analytics functionality in the hospitality industry. Strategies are applied and evaluated over the time period covering the initial platform design, market introduction and the first year of operation. We find that especially coring strategies are helpful in informing initial platform design decisions. Pricing and onboarding strategies are helpful for informing design choices, but considerable exploration and adjustments were needed along the way to effectuate the strategies. Our study shows that launch strategies from literature can-not be readily applied in a practical case. Our findings provide a foundation for developing design theory on launching multi-sided platforms. We contribute to digital platform literature by providing in-depth insights into how to apply launch strategies for multi-sided platforms offering data analytics.

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