Social Shopping Development and Perspectives

Social Shopping Development and Perspectives

Chingning Wang (National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/jvcsn.2011040103
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Abstract

“Social shopping” (or social commerce), combining shopping and social networking, is an application of Web 2.0 in electronic commerce to benefit from users’ social networks. This paper explores the development of the emergent “social shopping” and related perspectives. It incorporates comparisons between social shopping marketing and search engine marketing. For example, search engine marketing assumes shoppers are certain of their shopping goal; social shopping marketing assumes shoppers are uncertain of their shopping goals and gather shopping ideas from their peers. In this paper, the challenges in social shopping development are identified, including governing shopper communities and retrieving content from social networking sites. The author concludes that social shopping and e-commerce are not dichotomous concepts. Social shopping can be an evolutionary concept, meaning a singular EC site advancing with social networking functions, or a synergistic concept, meaning EC sites connecting with the other social networking sites to form strategic alliance.
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Social Shopping In The Past

A search through the literature found that the term “social shopping” is not novel. It is interesting to note that the concept of “social shopping” in the earlier literature is by no mean delineated in online setting as the newly literature after 2005 in the domain of e-commerce does. Rather, earlier literature bounded the concept of social shopping in an offline (or non-IT-mediated), face-to-face setting.

In an empirical study by Marshall and Heslop (1988), “social shopping orientation” along with “convenience shopping orientation” were used as predictors of consumers’ use of self-service technology (i.e., automated teller machines). In their research, a predisposition to face-to-face personal interaction was viewed as the characteristic of social shopping orientation. Convenience shopping orientation, on the other hand, is characterized by technology-mediated feature. Their findings suggested that shoppers with a social shopping orientation do not perceive using self-service technology as advantageous while shoppers with a convenience orientation do. Their views and suggestions implied that users with social shopping orientation may be less favorable to the use of new technology that was viewed as lacking a personal interaction characteristic then.

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