Influence of Opinion Leaders on Purchase Intention Using Social Network Analysis: The Case of Paid Mobile Apps

Influence of Opinion Leaders on Purchase Intention Using Social Network Analysis: The Case of Paid Mobile Apps

Yi-Fen Chen (Department of International Business, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan), Chia-Wen Tsai (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan) and Yu-Fu Ann (Department of International Business, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTHD.2018010101

Abstract

This article examines social network centralities to identify peer group's opinion leader with the aim of determining whether an opinion leader and perceived value influence purchase intention in the field of paid mobile apps. Social network analysis (SNA) and regression analysis are applied to examine the hypotheses within the theoretical framework. The experiment involved a peer group of college students with total of 46 subjects. Using SPSS to analyze the influences of perceived value and the group's opinion leader on purchase intention, the results showed that consumer purchase intention is positively influenced by both the perceived value of paid mobile apps and positive advices given by opinion leader. In addition, an analysis using Ucinet 6 to examine consulting network centrality, friendship network centrality, and information centrality of every member of the group revealed that based on group structure, the group member having the highest centrality has the group's potential to be the opinion leader.
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2. Literature Review

2.1. Paid Mobile Apps

Having become ubiquitous in recent years, mobile applications are basically small, self-contained programs, used to enhance existing functionality of personal computers, smartphones and tablets, ideally in a simple, more user-friendly manner (Cutlack, 2013). Apps can be free or paid, and paid apps fall into one of two main categories. The first is normal paid mobile apps, which have a marked price on Google Play or Apple iTune app stores. Here, users pay before being able to download the application. The second type is called “freemium applications.” With freemium a combination of the words “free” and “premium”, consumers can initially download the application at no cost. The application then provides an option allowing consumers to pay for a better experience; choosing not to pay the extra cost does not affect the basic features of application usage. This system is mainly used for mobile games such as Candy Crush Saga, Line Series, and Tower of Saviors (Lim, 2012; Nations, 2013).

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