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Effects of social media on consumers’ purchase decisions: evidence from Taobao

Kee-Young Kwahk () and Byoungsoo Kim ()
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Kee-Young Kwahk: Kookmin University
Byoungsoo Kim: Yeungnam University

Service Business, 2017, vol. 11, issue 4, No 6, 803-829

Abstract: Abstract Given the rapid growth of social media, it is important to understand the effects of social media on consumers’ purchase decisions in the e-commerce environment. However, although some e-commerce sites have started to link themselves to social media to enhance user interactions, previous studies of social media and service management have shed little light on the effects of social media on consumers’ purchase decisions. This study proposes a theoretical research model that includes social media factors, social impact transfer factors, and e-commerce outcome factors. We posit social interaction ties and social media commitment as key elements of social media. An online questionnaire was conducted to test the research model and hypotheses based on survey data collected from Taobao, the largest e-commerce site in China. The analysis results indicate that social interaction ties have significant positive effects on social impact transfer factors and trust in online vendor, whereas they do not directly influence visit intention. Social media commitment plays a crucial role in increasing social impact transfer factors and e-commerce outcomes. The findings reveal the different effects of normative and informational social influences on consumer purchase decisions. Further implications are discussed.

Keywords: Social media; Taobao; Social impact theory; Informational social influence; Normative social influence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s11628-016-0331-4

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