A Study of the Role of e-WOM on Social Commerce

A Study of the Role of e-WOM on Social Commerce

Youngkeun Choi (Sangmyung University, Seoul, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJeC.2018070101
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The purpose of this study is to discover how electronic word of mouth engages users and encourages them to purchase. By proposing the concepts of electronic word of mouth as different ways to provide reciprocal experience, this study develops a model that explores the antecedents of electronic word of mouth and its role in explaining a consumer to purchase in social commerce. For this, this study surveys 352 consumers using social commerce in Korea and analyzes the data using AMOS 24. In the results, first, information quality, information credibility, needs of information, and attitude towards information increase consumer electronic word of mouth. Second, the consumer's electronic word of mouth increases their purchase intention. Finally, information quality and attitude towards information among the antecedents of consumer electronic word of mouth increase his or her purchase intention through his or her electronic word of mouth. The findings contribute to research on social commerce by paying scholarly attention to meaningful engagement characterized by electronic word of mouth.
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1. Introduction

Recent developments in web technologies and the emergence of social media concepts and tools have resulted in new developments that affect e-commerce. Consumers must be actively involved in buying and selling products and services in online markets and communities (Huang & Benyoucef, 2015). This new phenomenon is also referred to as social commerce (Hajli, 2014) where e-commerce uses social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies. Social commerce has a significant impact on social interaction between business processes and consumers (Spaulding, 2010). In fact, in this environment, consumers can be exposed to more social and collaborative online shopping experiences to gather information gathered to better understand their purchases and support more accurate shopping decisions (Dennison et al., 2009). Online merchants can better serve their customers by identifying consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations (Constantinides et al., 2008). Unlike traditional e-commerce, which focuses on improving the efficiency of online shopping, social commerce offers a rich social, interactive and collaborative online shopping experience (Yang et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2018).

Creating an electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) in an online community is another essential social commerce tool and may be important to your business (Kozinets et al., 2010). Many previous studies have shown that e-WOM is one of the most important information sources when consumers are shopping on the Internet (Liu et al., 2015). Cheung and Thadani (2012) found that 91% of users said they would like to refer to online reviews, blogs, and other forms of user-generated content before purchasing new products or services, while 46% of users indicated that these contents impacted their decisions. With the rapid development of Web 2.0, online user reviews come in many shapes and forms. Reviews can be provided locally on an individual product, Website, or platform, distributed on a company’s Facebook page, or in comparison services including platforms that exclusively present overall consumers’ assessments of goods and services, such as TripAdvisor or Yelp (Pettersen 2017). Reviews persuade others with useful information about products so that they can achieve the purpose of self-enhancement and identity-signaling (Berger 2014). However, one recent study argued that evaluation or reviewing systems were neither fully reliable nor transparent. Their effectiveness is therefore subject to serious doubt (Hausemer et al. 2017).

The emergence of social commerce has brought a new dimension to e-WOM by allowing users to communicate with their existing networks. In contrast to other social commerce platform, users can exchange their opinions and experiences about the product or service and friendly people. Familiar people refer to people they already know, such as friends or acquaintances (Kozinets et al., 2010). In fact, according to a recent study of social commerce has increased the number of online reviews written by consumers (Trusov et al., 2010). Marketers have begun to participate in social media through their official accounts because of consumer interest. They consider this website as current and the opportunity to interact with potential customers (Michaelidou et al., 2011). For this reason, online, online social environment is considered suitable for e-WOM (Knoll & Proksch, 2017). Therefore, it's important to pay attention to the social commerce experience in today's high-tech and experienced user environments.

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