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Does friendship quality matter in social commerce? An experimental study of its effect on purchase intention

Qi Li (), Ni Liang () and Eldon Y. Li ()
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Qi Li: Xi’an Jiaotong University
Ni Liang: Xi’an Jiaotong University
Eldon Y. Li: National Chengchi University

Electronic Commerce Research, 2018, vol. 18, issue 4, No 2, 693-717

Abstract: Abstract Friendship plays a critical role in social commerce in contemporary societies. This study aims to theorize and examine how friendship quality impacts purchase intention. Product-related risk is introduced to gain insight into its moderating effects on intention to purchase from three different seller groups. Through empirical evidence, we confirm that friendship quality has positively effect on purchase intention. In particular, friends with high friendship quality (i.e., good friends) are more conducive to selling high-price high-risk products. However, friends with low friendship quality (i.e., simple friends) are not as attractive as strangers having good user reviews (i.e., reputable strangers). In other words, people are more willing to buy from reputable strangers than from simple friends. Theoretically, these results contribute to a better understanding of the effect of friendship quality on purchase intention. Finally, this research offers several practical implications for developing successful businesses in social commerce.

Keywords: Social commerce; Friendship quality; Good friends; Simple friends; Strangers; Purchase intention; Product-related risk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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