How B2B platform improves Buyers’ performance: Insights into platform’s substitution effect

Liying Zhou, Honghi Mao, Taiyang Zhao*, Valerie Lynette Wang, Xiaodong Wang, Peng Zuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Platforms are observed to gradually replace traditional pipeline supply chains. To better understand how platforms can assist business buyers in improving their bottom-line, this study investigates the influence of platform usage on three aspects of buyers’ performance. We build a theoretical framework focused on the roles of trust and transaction cost, and the moderating effects of transaction frequency. Using a sample of 314 buyer firms who are enrolled on a major e-commerce platform within the past ten years, we find that platform usage increases trust and decreases transaction cost for buyer firms, both of which in turn improve the buyers’ relationship performance, supplier performance and market performance. We also reveal a positive moderating effect of transaction frequency in this framework. The findings highlight the substitution effect of platforms in replacing traditional supply chains and what it means for business buyers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date29 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • B2B marketing
  • platform usage
  • trust
  • transaction theory
  • performance


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