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Better Earlier than Longer: First-Mover Advantage in Social Commerce Product Information Competition

Hui Li () and Narisa Zhao ()
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Hui Li: Institute of Systems Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Narisa Zhao: Institute of Systems Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 17, 1-17

Abstract: Social commerce (SC) is a rapidly emerging branch of e-commerce. Effective information spread is the critical element in increasing the sales volume in this industry. However, few studies have explored the underlying mechanism and corresponding winning strategies from the perspective of information spread. This research fills the gap by using a simulation method. Combined with the Engel–Kollat–Blackwell (EKB) theory, we improved the Susceptible–Infected–Recovered (SIR) epidemic dissemination dynamic model to simulate the competitive information spread process on social commerce networks. Datasets collected from two of the biggest SC websites in China, Sina Weibo and Taobao, verified the accuracy of the proposed model. Parameter sensitivity analysis results indicated that releasing the product message earlier is more effective than increasing the spread duration for improving the performance of information diffusion so as to boost the sales volume. It was also shown that high discard probability destroys the sales volume caused by high purchase probability. Low discard probability can lead to a good sales volume eventually, even when the purchase probability is low. The results provide evidence for the First-Mover Advantage theory from the information spreading point of view. We come up with practical strategies for SC marketers based on the simulation results.

Keywords: social commerce; SC network; competitive information spread; sales volume; First-Mover Advantage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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