Design and Development of Intelligent Decision Support Prototype System for Social Media Competitive Analysis in Fashion Industry

Design and Development of Intelligent Decision Support Prototype System for Social Media Competitive Analysis in Fashion Industry

Eric W.T. Ngai (Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong), S.S. Lam (Lee Shau Kee School of Business & Administration, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong), J.K.L. Poon (Hong Kong Community College, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong), Bin Shen (Glorious Sun School of Business & Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, China) and Karen K.L. Moon (Department of Clothing and Textiles/Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/JOEUC.2016040102
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Abstract

This paper describes the design and development of an intelligent decision support system (IDSS) for competitive analysis of social media in the fashion industry. A web-based prototype system is designed and developed to assist in monitoring the growing Internet media, protect fashion brands and products, and provide support for social media competitive analysis in the fashion industry through social media. In this study, a social media value grid that allows managers to use social media technology in the fashion business and add value for managers is proposed. Four propositions are presented as the research agenda in examining the ability of social media technology to improve the operations management of a fashion company.
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Introduction

The use of social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook, Weibo, Twitter, and Instagram has rapidly proliferated among people. Large organizations as well as innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from the adoption of social media tools in business (Wamba & Carter, 2014). Social media serve not only as a communication or information sharing platform, but can also generate business value, such as building customer loyalty, raising customers’ awareness of brand image, predicting customers’ preference, facilitating information flow, creating customers’ intimacy, and raising revenue (He, Zha, & Li, 2013; Schniederjans, Cao, & Schniederjans, 2013). Social media are related to business value in two aspects. First, companies can use social media to affect customers’ behavior. Rishika, Kumar, Janakiraman, and Bezawada (2013) found that the more frequently the customers participate in a firm’s SNS, the more frequently the customers would visit the company’s site. Second, customers can use social media to share their purchases with their peers that may affect on peers’ purchasing preference. Customers’ opinions expressed in social media platforms play a significant role in influencing the behavior of other social media users (Mostafa, 2013).

eMarketer (2013) stated that by 2017, approximately 2.33 billion people will be using SNS. Nowadays, customers actively leave messages on online platforms to express their feelings or comments. These activities have even become part of their daily habits. Thus, we can foresee that huge amounts of information will be contributed into the social media every second from companies and individuals, which could translate to enormous business value and opportunities that can be generated from this ocean of information. Therefore, we consider a study on enhancing business value through the use of social media to be very important.

Studies on enhancing business value through the use of social media take two directions. First, a number of studies have focused on how companies utilize social media as tools to affect customers’ behavior to create business value. For instance, Kaplan and Haenlein (2014) provided suggestions for companies on how to adopt social media tools to launch marketing campaign. Tuten and Solomon (2013) demonstrated various methods for marketers to understand the use of social media platforms to influence customers’ activities, and a large number of companies have actually posted their brand messages on social media platforms to foster business relationships with customers (Vries, Gensler, & Leeflang, 2012). Second, researchers have also expounded on the importance of user generated content (UGC), particularly opinions and product reviews contributed by users, and found that the wide adoption of social media tools can attract more UGC, which contains valuable implicit business information. Mostafa (2013) stated that opinions expressed in social media platforms have a significant role in enhancing business success. Netzer, Feldman, and Fresko (2012) indicated that UGC could aid companies in exploring what customers write about their products as well as the products of their competitors. Wang, Wang, and Yin (2014) also mentioned that online product reviews help detect product weakness, whereas Smith, Fischer, and Chen (2012) stated that realized UGC helps enhance consumer engagement.

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