University of Oulu

Product distinctiveness in B2C cosmetics e-commerce

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Author: Matela, Ida1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Pages: 121
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : I. Matela, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-09
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Myllykoski, Jenni
Reviewer: Myllykoski, Jenni
Laari-Salmela, Sari


Especially during the recent years, optimal distinctiveness research has examined the dimensions of legitimacy and distinctiveness in which the latter is part of the field of strategic management. Product distinctiveness is one key way to build competitive advantage, but managing distinctiveness can be difficult for companies. There has been a special focus on examining the effects of the level of distinctiveness on performance, but there is a lack of research about product distinctiveness in the cosmetics e-commerce context where innovation is important. This research aims at offering a new perspective on the topic that gains deeper understanding of how product distinctiveness is formed in the competitive e-commerce conditions. This research identifies how product distinctiveness is built by companies operating in B2C cosmetics e-commerce in Finland. The data collection method in this study is document collection and the data analysis method is qualitative content analysis.

From the research results it can be identified that companies build product distinctiveness in B2C cosmetics e-commerce through and hand in hand with communicating about identity building product qualities and brands, sustainable actions, practical technical features of the products, innovativeness, and legitimacy building aspects. Product distinctiveness is built by the companies so that these aspects, such as eco-friendliness and affordability of products, are communicated with different styles or elements, such as with structural choices, big font size, and product descriptions. Management of companies operating in this context can identify what kinds of product distinctiveness sources are utilized and benefit from this in different areas of business operations, such as in product development and website management. Also, through this research management can identify the less utilized sources and consider the application of these sources to build the distinctiveness of the products offered. The research findings also give new perspectives also for novel actors and provide detailed knowledge for scholars in the field as well.

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Copyright information: © Ida Matela, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.