In order to further explore the theoretical issues of the value creation mechanisms of digital platform enterprises, this paper adopts a comparative case study of Yowant Network and Haier Smart Home to explore the value creation mechanisms of digital transaction platform enterprises and digital innovation platform enterprises. Following the logical relations of “value proposition–value co-creation–value capture”, this paper summarizes the key elements of the value creation of digital platform enterprises, analyzes and compares the value creation mechanisms of the two different types of digital platform enterprises based on theoretical research and case practice, and finally extracts the theoretical model and research conclusion.
The findings are that: The process of the value creation of digital platform enterprises is to determine value proposition according to their own business model and strategic objectives at first. Under the guidance of value proposition, enterprises create value with other actors in platform based on the leverage of “connection–interaction–recombination”, and finally realize value capture to improve capability and competitiveness. Different types of digital platform enterprises have different mechanisms to realize value creation. Digital transaction platform enterprises take market orientation as value proposition, and analyze market demand from information acquisition, information digestion and information response. Then, digital transaction platform enterprises realize value co-creation with agents of demand side and supply side by transaction leverage to improve the matching efficiency of supply and demand, and finally achieve value capture in the three aspects of performance value, price value and trust value. Digital innovation platform enterprises take technology orientation as value proposition, and promote product or service innovation through technology research and development, technology application and technology innovation. On this basis, digital innovation platform enterprises realize value co-creation with agents of complementor and user by innovation leverage to promote open innovation, and finally achieve network value, complementary value and governance value.
This paper opens the theoretical “black box” of the value creation of digital platform enterprises, which is the key plate of the theoretical research of digital platform, and promotes further research on the value creation theory in the context of digital platform. In addition, this paper is helpful for digital platform enterprises to subvert traditional ways of value creation and build digital industrial chain, supply chain and innovation chain to form digital industrial ecology, so as to realize sustainable growth and development under the influence of “black swan” events such as the COVID-19.