The Effect of Information Quality on Social Networking Site (SNS)-Based Commerce: From the Perspective of Malaysian SNS Users

The Effect of Information Quality on Social Networking Site (SNS)-Based Commerce: From the Perspective of Malaysian SNS Users

Jongchang Ahn (Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea) and Suaini Sura (Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/JOEUC.2020010101
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This study aimed to examine how information quality (IQ) attributes affect perceived usefulness and customer satisfaction of SNS-based commerce from the perspective of Malaysian SNS users. Although many studies have been conducted to identify possible IQ attributes in the context of e-commerce, only a limited number of studies have tested and examined the direct effects of the IQ attributes on perceived usefulness and customer satisfaction, particularly in the s-commerce context (i.e., SNS-based commerce). The data from Malaysia respondents were collected through an online survey, using a snowball sampling technique. The hypotheses were analysed using multiple linear regression. The results indicated the perceived usefulness was significantly affected by completeness, ease of understanding, and personalization. Customer satisfaction was significantly affected by the completeness and perceived usefulness. However, neither the accuracy nor timeliness had an effect on perceived usefulness or customer satisfaction. The findings suggest that completeness is the strongest attribute of IQ.
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The evolution of Web 2.0 and social media has caused a shift from conventional electronic commerce (e-commerce) to social commerce (s-commerce). S-commerce is a new concept in the study of e-commerce markets; as a result, it has been defined in different ways. Liang and Turban (2011) suggested that there are three essential elements (social media, community, and commerce activities) that must be considered when defining s-commerce. S-commerce can be defined as a form of online business that combines e-commerce and social media to provide consumers with daily deals and to facilitate the buying and selling of products and services (Stephen & Toubia, 2010). Social media refers to Internet-based applications operated in Web 2.0 that are designed to attract visitors (e.g., customers) to online destinations [e.g., social networking site (SNS)-based commerce]. Web 2.0 is seen as a platform for harnessing collective intelligence (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). One of the most popular types of social media is SNS, which consist of web-based services that allow individuals to socialize and build their own virtual network communities to communicate and share information, as they would in real-life (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). Hence, in the s-commerce context, SNS is defined as a tool to accomplish buying and selling-related activities that involves, sharing online shopping experiences and sharing information about the products and services.

In Malaysia, s-commerce first became popular in 2010 and grew rapidly. It has been reported that SNS, particularly Facebook, have played an important role in the growth of s-commerce. According to Wong (2014a; 2014b), 91% of Malaysian online users have shopped online, and 40% of them have used an SNS (i.e., Facebook) as an online shopping platform. 51% of these users typically start their online shopping by discovering it on Facebook. As for online sellers, 36% of them responded that an SNS is the preferred platform to sell their products and services. For sellers who are not currently selling their products online, 74% preferred to conduct their online business through SNS (e.g., Facebook and Instagram). These results imply that SNS is an acceptable e-commerce platform in Malaysia. The increased popularity and use of e-commerce in Malaysia have brought about several problems with online shopping. The major concerns of Malaysian online shoppers are fraud, trust, security, and dissatisfaction, indicating that Malaysians still lack confidence in e-commerce (Wong, 2014c). In 2012, the Companies Commission of Malaysia introduced a new regulation (Consumer Protection: Electronic Trade Transactions Regulations 2012) to protect customers and to increase their confidence in actively participating in e-commerce. This regulation went into effect in July 2013. Under this regulation, online sellers must display their business name and registration number on their SNS pages. Enforcing this regulation is expected to decrease online shopping fraud. The issue of dissatisfaction, particularly as it relates to products and services should be handled directly by the online sellers in order to ensure that they retain customers and maintain client relationships (Schaupp et al., 2009).

Despite the potential benefits (e.g., saving time and money and easily accessing information) of SNS-based commerce in Malaysia, there is no guarantee that customers will not experience problems. In fact, customers are often exposed to problems such as online fraud (Wong, 2014c). SNS-based commerce is an information center where irresponsible sellers can take advantage of the opportunity to persuade customers by manipulating information. Failure to control these problems will lead to a bad reputation for SNS-based commerce. As a result, offline customers will feel reluctant to shop online and will lose their confidence in SNS-based commerce. This is supported by Wong (2014a), who reported that 37% of customers in Malaysia do not shop online owing to security concerns, and that 35% do not trust online sellers. As for current online customers, the problems they face may lead them to become dissatisfied with SNS-based commerce. Dissatisfaction is sometimes caused by the way the information is presented in SNS.

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