An Examination of Factors Associated with User Acceptance of Social Shopping Websites

An Examination of Factors Associated with User Acceptance of Social Shopping Websites

Jia Shen (Rider University, USA) and Lauren B. Eder (Rider University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1954-8.ch004
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Abstract

Social commerce is the latest development in e-commerce to combine the power of online social networking with shopping. While the adoption of information technology is well studied, new theoretical development is needed to account for the specific characteristics of social commerce applications and their interactions with the user. This study examines factors that are associated with user acceptance of social shopping websites, which are sites designed specifically to support social interactions while users shop. This paper augments the Technology Acceptance Model with constructs that enhance the specificity of the model to the social shopping application of social commerce, including social comparison, social engagement, enjoyment as well as perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. The model was empirically tested, and the results provided strong support. Implications and directions for future research are also discussed.
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Social Commerce And Applications

In this study, social commerce is defined as technology-enabled shopping experiences where online consumer interactions while shopping provide the main mechanism for conducting social shopping activities. These activities may include discovering products, aggregating and sharing product information, and collaboratively making shopping decisions.

Research in the marketing literature suggests that consumers have two distinct types of orientations when visiting Business-to-Consumer (B2C) websites: transactional and social (Mathwick, 2002). The transactional orientation focuses on completing the shopping tasks, while the social orientation focuses on relationship building. The provision of customer reviews and personalized recommendations (such as on Amazon.com) has been shown to be a significant feature that improve the online shopping experience (Kumar & Benbasat, 2006). Similarly, electronic word-of-mouth websites (such as epinion.com) where consumers can read the opinions and experiences of other consumers and provide their own comments and ratings on a wide range of products online have become popular (Lee & Lee, 2009; Park, Lee, & Han, 2007). Although these technologies enhance the online shopping experience, the focus of these technologies is primarily on efficiency.

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