Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Effects of Collectivism on Actual S-Commerce Use and the Moderating Effect of Price Consciousness

Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Effects of Collectivism on Actual S-Commerce Use and the Moderating Effect of Price Consciousness

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Social media has become increasingly popular over the past few years and is continuing to flourish throughout the world. Its rise in popularity and use is propelling user-generated content on commercial websites facilitating the online buying of goods and services referred to as social commerce (s-commerce).This study examines the effects of collectivism and price consciousness on consumers' intention to use s-commerce using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as the theoretical framework. We test and analyze the research model and related hypotheses using structural equation modeling. The results from a survey of 375 s-commerce users indicate that preference, reliance, norm acceptance, and goal priority (dimensions of collectivism) had significant effects on the perceived usefulness of s-commerce and that price consciousness had significant moderating effects on the relationships between perceived usefulness/perceived ease of use and individuals' intention to use s-commerce. A discussion of the research findings and implications for practitioners and researchers is included.

Keywords: Social commerce; Actual use; Collectivism; Price consciousness

1. Introduction

The rise of social media, particularly social networking sites (SNSs), and the popularity of users generating content are creating new opportunities for research within the academic community and new avenues for promoting and selling goods and services in the business community. At the intersection, social commerce (s-commerce) has started to flourish. S-commerce, a subset of e-commerce, combines social media with e-commerce to facilitate the buying and selling of goods and services through the use of internet technologies [Marsden 2011]. Users engage in s-commerce activity by making use of social networks formed through e-commerce transactions. These social networks are formed when s-commerce users collaborate by sharing their online shopping experiences and product- and service-related information and are strengthened by their exchange of "trustworthy" opinions for making informed purchases and obtaining the best prices.

S-commerce is starting to receive considerable attention from the business community, as individuals are making greater use of user-generated content to make informed buying decisions. In particular, s-commerce has witnessed explosive growth in South Korea (hereafter "Korea"), because consumers place great emphasis on acquiring and using coupons and sharing information on goods and services, with the later representing a manifestation of collectivism. Collectivism represents a sense of interdependence among members of a group and their prioritization of group goals [Pookulangara & Koesler 2011]. In general, collectivism embodies the manner in which individuals view themselves as members of a group and consider the needs of the group to be more important than their own individual needs. By contrast, individualism represents the prioritization of oneself at the expense of the group as a whole. Business environments have different cultural emphasis. For example, traditional e-commerce models (e.g. B2C, C2C) are characterized as individualistic in nature whereas s-commerce is collectivistic in nature [Bin et al. 2003]. Brandtzæ g [2010] noted the importance of cultural differences in the context of s-commerce, claiming that such differences can influence the interaction between new social media technologies (e.g. s-commerce) and users.

Dell is one of the first companies to capitalize on s-commerce. With the launch of "Dell Swarm," Dell has been able to sell more computers and provide lower prices to consumers by inviting them to join an online "Swarm." Computers are bought and sold in bulk, facilitating a win-win exchange for both Dell and its customers. S-commerce sites such as "Dell Swarm" typically offer consumers discount deals to entice them to share product- and service-related information on their sites. …

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