Social Network and Social Commerce

Social Network and Social Commerce

Mamun Ala, Tareq Rasul, Sumesh Nair
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5823-2.ch009
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A social network refers to a network of social interactions using various social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This chapter will first explain various concepts of social commerce involving the use of social networks and then elaborate on the key characteristics of social commerce and will highlight how it is different from e-commerce. A discussion is included on the concept of cross-border social commerce and its specific characteristics. Further, this chapter examines the trends in social commerce adoption by companies to promote international sales and the related benefits and challenges. It also presents a discussion on the use of social networks to understand and influence cross-cultural consumer behaviour in social commerce. Additionally, this chapter explores how social commerce can specifically benefit SMEs and born global firms to reach a larger audience in foreign countries and includes a discussion on cross-border social commerce strategy for business.
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Social Networks, Social Commerce And Cross-Border Social Commerce Definitions And Concepts

A social network refers to an online site that allows individuals to create and maintain interpersonal relationships with friends, acquaintances, family, co-workers or even strangers with similar interests (Ellison & Boyd, 2013; Grabner-Kräuter, 2009). Examples of popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat and LinkedIn. These are, however, Web 2.0 applications as they provide the user with opportunities to share online information with others and create information individually as well as in collaboration with other network members (Bicen & Cavus, 2011; Newman et al., 2016; Rasul, 2016b).

Social networks offer higher levels of user interactivity than static online platforms (e.g. a website); hence there is greater scope for collaboration and real-time communication (Hiremath & Kenchakkanavar, 2016; Newman et al., 2016). The five key features of a social network are the following (Amichai-Hamburger & Hayat, 2017; Eginli & Tas, 2018; Ellison & Boyd, 2013; Gao et al., 2018; Prabhu, 2017):

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