Modeling Users' Acceptance of Social Commerce

Modeling Users' Acceptance of Social Commerce

Vaggelis Saprikis (Western Macedonia University of Applied Sciences, Kozani, Greece) and Angelos Markos (Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2018100102

Abstract

Social commerce creates a range of tremendous opportunities and new revenue streams for businesses worldwide across all industry sectors. To keep up with this pace, companies increasingly want to understand the behavioral attitude of social networking site (SNS) users. This article examines SNS users' reaction towards different parameters that would influence their intention to purchase products and services through or via SNS. The extant literature focuses on understanding the factors that might affect consumers' behavioral intention to adopt social commerce. In this study, new theoretical constructs are combined with existing evidence in order to extend the technology acceptance model as it was initially established by Davis and later further enriched by other researchers. The proposed conceptual model includes behavioral intention, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, trust, enjoyment, closeness, familiarity and reward.
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Introduction

Over the last years the Internet technology has considerably changed people’s way of buying and selling products and services online. The advancements in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the broad use of Web 2.0 technologies along with the popularity of social media and Social Networking Sites (SNS) have created a new dimension in online buying and selling procedures. Specifically, the wide acceptance of social media as an efficient tool for socialization and information sharing has given rise to a new stream and subset of e-commerce called social commerce (Liang et al., 2011). In a broad sense, social commerce involves the use of Internet-based media that allow people to participate in the marketing, comparing, sharing, curating, buying and selling of products and services in both online and offline marketplaces, and in communities as well (Zhou et al., 2013). Its early applications can be found in the late ‘90s when Amazon introduced the rating and review systems (Lu et al., 2016). Liang & Turban (2011) summarized its three major attributes: social technologies, community interactions and commercial activities. The dynamics of social commerce is beyond any doubt. According to Cheung & Thadani (2012), 91% of participants mentioned that they use online reviews, blogs and other forms of user generated content before buying a new good, product or service, and 46% of them said that these comments impact on their decision. Saprikis (2013b) stated that SNS friends’ opinion can significantly influence their members buying behavior. Furthermore, Barclays (2012) indicated that by 2021 nearly half of the UK consumer population will be engaged in social commerce. Therefore, individuals can co-create value with the firm (Wang & Hajli, 2014). Overall, the aforementioned statistics do show such a promising present and future for social commerce. As a consequence, the indisputable bargaining power of consumers along with the popularity of social media have significantly altered how firms approach them, and it is believed that these are the main reasons why even more traditional e-commerce sites add social networking capabilities or utilize social media and the commercial features provided to promote and sell their goods and services.

Social commerce has quickly considered as the new area of survey for both researchers and practitioners, suggesting the potential impacts of social media and social networking technologies and services in shaping commercial channels on and off the Internet (Zhou et al., 2013). The purpose of this paper is to identify key influential factors that impact internet users on social commerce adoption. In spite of the rapid and wide growth of social media and related tools, comparatively a few studies have adapted the behavioral intention theories and examined internet users’ attitudes and behaviors towards social commerce (Gatautis & Medziausiene, 2014; Taheri & Shourmasti, 2016). Thus, this paper aims to help online firms better understand their current and potential customers in order to improve consumers’ shopping experience and formulate a target-oriented business strategy to increase their sales. Furthermore, it aims to find out users’ reaction towards different parameters that would influence their intention to social commerce; focusing on Greek university students. More specifically, the study promotes an instrument in order to provide an explanation of the determinants of social commerce acceptance by extending the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The study suggests a conceptual model that shows how its different constructs influence users to adopt social commerce. As far as it is concerned, this is the first attempt to extend TAM with the concurrent investigation of new, as well as vital social-commerce related variables to it, such as closeness, reward and familiarity. The paper is expected to both contribute research and practice by providing enlightenment and thoughts for the academia and the industry.

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