Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

The Driving Forces of Facebook Social Commerce

Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

The Driving Forces of Facebook Social Commerce

Article excerpt

1Introduction

A major difference that characterises the online and offline shopping is the low level of human and social presence [6]. This difference is noted to act as a barrier to e-commerce development. Frequently, the low presence is considered as a key limitation of e-commerce. According to [71], the absence of social and human presence in ecommerce is linked with increased risk, reduced social cues, and acts as a barrier to a conducive business environment. However, the integration of Web 2.0 technologies into e-commerce sites has greatly improved social presence. As a result, the concept of social commerce has emerged [93]. Web 2.0 technologies have significantly participated in making social interactions and social presence among customers feasible. Web 2.0 technologies facilitate the collection of significant information through various core features such as content sharing and usergenerated contents [50]. The impact of such features can be demonstrated in both customers' social interaction and business outcomes. Web 2.0 technologies considerably impact the reliability of a business transactions and its reputation. In addition, these technologies help businesses to strengthen their relationships with customers and improve the effectiveness of developing a new brand or product. In contrast, customers can effectively benefit from web 2.0 technologies. Specifically, customers' preferences, decisions and perceptions are not only steered by information available on e-commerce websites, but are also impacted by content generated by peers on social networks.

Regarding innovations in information and communication technology, social commerce is the latest development [65]. Though social commerce has evolved just recently, its practical development is rapid [10]. The rapid growth is associated with the rapid growth and popularity of social media networks which have significantly led to the growth of social communities and facilitated peer interaction [67]. As a result, many businesses today have been presented with new opportunity for supporting their businesses using social networks in what is referred to as social commerce. Chen and Shen [17] noted that online transactions are promoted by social commerce made possible by social networking sites which allow people to share, communicated, recommend, and even provide product ratings based on their experiences.

As a result, many service providers (i.e. airlines, insurance) and retailers (e.g., Samsung) have succeeded in using social commerce effectively to improve the performance of their businesses. Nevertheless, Liang and Turban [67] argue that some organisations have been unsuccessful in their strategies regarding social commerce and there have been several issues in respect of privacy, trust and security in exchanging information. Trust is recognised as key factor preventing customers from making online purchases. Nonetheless, in social commerce, social networking sites (SNSs) provide notifications about products and customers in turn may make purchases. Therefore, trust in SNSs and the embedded content given by peers can significantly enhance customers' intentions to purchase from online sellers. Trust in social commerce enables companies to boost purchase intentions and word-of-mouth [59]. However, Hajli et al. [41] assert that there is lack of research in the context of social commerce that investigates the role of trust in SNSs on influencing customers' intentions to purchase from online vendors, and how the effects of trust (if there is any) can be transferred to purchase intention. Thus, this study bridges this gap by aiming to explain the relationship between trust and customers' purchase intention from online-vendors via an social networking site (SNS). Moreover, this study seeks to build a mechanism that describes how trust in SNSs influence purchase intention.

A report conducted by the Arab Advisor Group [8] points out that the overall number e-commerce users in Jordan is 514,000, which constitutes 8. …

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