INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS AND SOCIETY SESSION 24
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS AND SOCIETY SESSION 24 SWITCHING COSTS AND LOCK-IN SEAN J. TAYLOR ADMINISTRATIVIA G1: Submit group feedback forms G2: any questions? Less correlated More correlated ANOTHER BUNDLING EXAMPLE Ex. 1 Alice Bob Chris Rock $10 $5 $5 Hip hop $5
$10 $0 Country $0 $0 $10 Ex. 2 Alice Bob Chris Rock $10 $10 $5 Hip hop $5 $5 $0 Country $0
$0 $10 Ex. 3 Alice Bob Rock $10 We can charge higher prices, but we get fewer sales. Example Rock Price 1 $10 2 $10 3 $10 Hip Hop Price $10 $5 $5 Country Price
$10 $10 $0 The advantage of the bundle decreases with correlation. Example Separate Bundle Improvement 1 $30 $45 $15 Chris 2 $40 $45 $5 $10
$10 3 $45 $45 $0 Hip hop $5 $5 $5 Country $0 $0 $0 LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Explain switching costs, technological lock-in and how switching costs lead to technological lock-in. 2. Understand how switching costs affect industry competition.
3. Understand the sources of lock-in and switching costs: 4. durable purchases specialized suppliers brand-specific training search costs information and databases loyalty programs
contracts Be able to identify and analyze sources of lock-in for specific products or in specific business contexts. SWITCHING COSTS & LOCK-IN OVERVIEW What should you consider when deciding on switching from PC to Mac? Switching costs in the Mac-PC example Buying new peripherals (used to be OS-specific) Buying new software (OS-specific) Converting your PC files to Mac-compatible files (file formats used to be OS-specific) Learning how to use the new OS (OS-specific) Finding a new support group or corporate support infrastructure (OS-specific) What about when switching from an HP to Dell PC? Switching from a HP to a Dell PC The cost of switching tends to be minimal Microsoft makes more money than HP when one buys an HP PC
Most of the margins seem to go to the part of the product/system that drives the switching costs TECHNOLOGY LOCK-IN: OVERVIEW Example: Switching cars versus switching computers? Computers Across brands: PC to Mac Buying new peripherals Buying new software Ensuring that your PC files can be read by your Mac Learning how to use the new OS getting used to the new UI, figuring out what the mouse does when you double-click, what the control and function keys do, how to live with one mouse button... Finding a new support group Upgrade: any computer to any other Copying files, reinstalling software Shortcuts, bookmarks, Getting used to the feel/layout of the Automobiles Across brands: Honda to BMW Finding a new service shop Finding where to get spare parts Buying new accessories/toolkit Adapting to the new dashboard, figuring out where all the controls, switches and levers are
Upgrade: any car to any other Getting license plates, registration, insurance, spending time at DMV/AAA Getting used to 'how the car drives' (maybe this is a little less if you buy a car of the same brand and model?) EXAMPLES OF SWITCHING COSTS/LOCK-IN? SWITCHING COSTS & COMPETITIVENESS Increasing switching costs Threat of New Entrants Reduces the threat of new entrants Reduces rivalry among existing competitors Main industry Bargaining Power of Suppliers Bargaining Power of Buyers Reduces the bargaining power of suppliers over time, due to reducing number of firms in the main industry
Rivalry Among Existing Competitors Reduces the bargaining power of buyers Threat of Substitute Products or Services (generally reduces, but were not going to discuss this force) High switching costs typically reduce competitiveness and increase industry profits SOURCES OF LOCK-IN Type of Lock-In Switching Costs Contractual Commitment Compensatory damages Durable purchases Replacement costs, complementary products Brand-specific learning Interface learning, corporate re-training Information and databases Cost of transfer,
re-creation, imperfections Search costs Cost of time, attention, uncertainty Network Effects network value Lost relationships, lost Loyalty programs Lost accumulated benefits SOURCES OF LOCK-IN Type of Lock-In Switching Costs Contractual Commitment Compensatory damages Durable purchases Replacement costs, complementary products Brand-specific learning Interface learning, corporate re-training Information and databases Cost of transfer, re-creation, imperfections Search costs Cost of time, attention, uncertainty
Network Effects network value Loyalty programs Lost relationships, lost Lost accumulated benefits DURABLE PURCHASES Driver of lock-in Investments in durable assets Pattern of lock-in Customer buys expensive hardware (durable asset) Customer is forced to buy (high-margin) complementary products/services to avoid re-investment in new durable assets Supplier strategies Discount upfront durable products to lock-in the customer Make money off the upgrades and complementary products/services
Examples? BRAND-SPECIFIC TRAINING Drivers of lock-in Learning how to use product (Ticketmaster example) Training employees (skill set becomes the complementary product) Pattern of lock-in Customer invests in learning to use product/interface Customer becomes adept at usage (increases with time) Customer sticks with product to avoid re-learning, company standardizes product to reduce training costs Supplier strategies Reduce learning barriers to adoption
Consciously design-in learning over time. Competitors want to lower switching costs. Borland and Quattro Pro help for Lotus1-2-3. Word and WordPerfect help Examples? INFORMATION AND DATABASES Drivers of lock-in Complementarity between HW+SW on one hand vs. Information on the other. Transferring/porting product-specific information/files/media (actual transfer, imperfect transfer, re-creation) Patterns of lock-in Customer invests in product Customer stores/gathers product-specific information with use (increases with time) Customer stays with existing product to avoid transfer costs Supplier strategies
Actively encourage informational investment, offering convenience, cost reductions in return Build interfaces to your competitors products Examples? SEARCH COSTS Drivers of lock-in Actually finding new supplier (attention, time, evaluation) Aversion to uncertainty from unknown alternatives (loss of knowledge gained from experience) Pattern of lock-in Customer invests in finding a supplier Customer evaluates and understands quality of supplier
Customer pays premium for current supplier, trading off cost of search against higher prices Supplier strategies Pay special attention to first-time customers Highlight reductions in uncertainty Examples? LOYALTY PROGRAMS Constructed by firm Frequent flyer programs Gold status (airline customer switching tactic) Personalized Pricing Example: Amazon and Barnes and Noble Referral Program Amazon Associates Program vs. B&N's Affiliates program. More effective if royalty based on cumulative referrals. Loyalty programs create 2 kinds of switching costs Have 15000 miles and need 25000 miles Minimized by switching carriers after encashing in bulk MANAGING LOCK-IN AS A CUSTOMER Bargain Hard before you become locked in
Dont fall for sweeteners alone (initial discounts on hardware, extended warranty instead of a service contract) Bargaining position becomes weaker once you make sunk investments Think ahead to entire lock-in cycle when you negotiate. (TCI, MS and Java). Convince seller of your switching costs later. Keep your options open Second source of supply Adopt (or require) an open system architecture Signal by actually partial switching (geographic areas, businesses) Retain the rights to transfer your information Switching doctors is easier when you have medical records Switching mechanics is easier when you have maintenance records for your equipment. MANAGING LOCK-IN AS A SELLER Attract the right customers Right segment, right features/advantages, differentiation
Isolate and target the buyers with high switching costs Look for buyers with a high sphere of influence (connected, credible) Index investment to the lifetime value of the customer Design-in gradual ease of use, informational investments Use web-based loyalty programs actively Highlight reductions in uncertainty, value from their investments Entrench them Leverage your installed base Up-sell complements, premium services (own/partners) Sensibly sell access to your installed base Price discriminate with care (yours, your competitors, nobodys), and expect your competitor to do the same NEXT CLASS: WRAP-UP AND REVIEW
, April 28, 2014, S.D. Texas (Two University professors indicted for false statements and wire fraud) Arklight, February 4, 2015, E.D. Pennsylvania (Indictment for wire fraud, using university resources, company not real)
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