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Title: Effects of Platform Design on the Customer Experience in an Online Solar PV Marketplace

Abstract

Residential solar photovoltaic (PV) customers are increasingly buying PV systems in online marketplaces, where customers can compare multiple quotes from several installers on quote platforms. In this study, we use data from an online marketplace to explore how quote platform design affects customer experiences. We analyze how four design changes affected customer experiences in terms of factors such as prices. We find that three of the four design changes are associated with statistically significant and robust price reductions, even though none of the changes were implemented specifically to reduce prices. The results suggest that even seemingly small platform design changes can affect PV customer experiences in online marketplaces.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. University of Texas
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1439409
Report Number(s):
NREL/FS-6A20-71182
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Program Document
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; solar photovoltaic; PV; quotes; installers; price reduction; platform design; online marketplaces

Citation Formats

OShaughnessy, Eric J, Margolis, Robert M, Leibowicz, Benjamin, and Punjabi, Kunal. Effects of Platform Design on the Customer Experience in an Online Solar PV Marketplace. United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
OShaughnessy, Eric J, Margolis, Robert M, Leibowicz, Benjamin, & Punjabi, Kunal. Effects of Platform Design on the Customer Experience in an Online Solar PV Marketplace. United States.
OShaughnessy, Eric J, Margolis, Robert M, Leibowicz, Benjamin, and Punjabi, Kunal. Wed . "Effects of Platform Design on the Customer Experience in an Online Solar PV Marketplace". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1439409.
@article{osti_1439409,
title = {Effects of Platform Design on the Customer Experience in an Online Solar PV Marketplace},
author = {OShaughnessy, Eric J and Margolis, Robert M and Leibowicz, Benjamin and Punjabi, Kunal},
abstractNote = {Residential solar photovoltaic (PV) customers are increasingly buying PV systems in online marketplaces, where customers can compare multiple quotes from several installers on quote platforms. In this study, we use data from an online marketplace to explore how quote platform design affects customer experiences. We analyze how four design changes affected customer experiences in terms of factors such as prices. We find that three of the four design changes are associated with statistically significant and robust price reductions, even though none of the changes were implemented specifically to reduce prices. The results suggest that even seemingly small platform design changes can affect PV customer experiences in online marketplaces.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 23 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Wed May 23 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}

Program Document:
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