An Empirical Examination of Drivers Impacting Usage Intentions of Social Media Shopping
The increasing popularity of social media and commercial activities over such media has led to new possibilities and opportunities for marketing, especially in retailing. Many retailers have embraced a multichannel strategy to include social media marketing. Similarly, New and existing social media entrepreneurs are taking advantage of various technological innovations, created new forms of social media sites, and have strengthened the interface and interactions within existing sites. For example, Facebook allows for not only creating buzz about new products and promotions, but also enables shopping. Payment, a new venture, now provides technical support to numerous clients who want to create their storefronts on Facebook (Zimmerman 2012). Understanding I shopping behaviors of Internet users is essential to assess whether or not a social media storefront is an appropriate strategy for every e-retailer and if every social network will be perceived as an adequate shopping place for internet users.
However, it is not clear whether enabling shopping in social media sites would contribute to a win-win situation for consumers, social media sites and others (such as advertisers) involved in a social media site. While social media shopping has some benefits and value for the consumer and offers retailers the opportunities to expand into a new channel, it also carries tremendous risks for consumers. Apart from the usual risks of shopping online, consumers may also be varying of shopping in a social environment. Trust, not only in the retailer but also in the social media platform, may be prime considerations affecting the spread and prevalence of social media shopping. In this study, we explore the impacts of trust in the retailer as well as in the social media site on consumer shopping intentions.
Our conceptual model is based on the model of trust in Internet commerce as developed by Lee and Turban (2001), and we draw on the theoretical frameworks of Mayer et al. (1995) and Schoorman et al. (2007). We extend these models by (a) integrating purchase intention as a potential outcome variable, and by (b) deriving potential interaction effects between the different types of trust, which are discussed in literature but have seldom been tested empirically. Data were collected via online surveys and using well established multi-item measures from prior empirical studies. The results indicate that social commerce is more complex than e-commerce since more parties are involved in providing the offer. From the perspective of customers, not only is trust in the e-retailer of importance but also trust in the social platform. Our findings show that trust plays a crucial role in an individual’s motivation to engage in shopping through social media sites. We also find significant and positive interactions between trust in the e-tailer as well as in the social media site in affecting purchase intentions.