Perspectives of Social Commerce: Social Media’s Role Beyond Immediate Influence on Purchase Decisions

From the German Social Media Consumer Report 2012/2013 we know that social media currently accounts for about 8% of the consumer’s purchase decision. However, social media’s role regarding the different steps of the sales funnel is still not sufficiently researched. Yadav et al. (2013) develop a framework that lays ground for a broader discussion of social commerce as an increasingly important aspect of online purchase behavior. In their paper they discuss social media’s role for need recognition, pre-purchase activities, the purchase decision itself, and post-purchase activities by also considering moderating product and media platform characteristics.

Yadav et al 2013 Social Commerce


For instance, in the pre-purchase phase, when consumers start to search for and evaluate alternative product or service options, social media are a short-cut to gather relevant information. The trustworthiness of consumer-generated content, determined by the degree of tie strength between platform members, makes such information quite powerful. Especially in cases where goods are characterized by a high level of perceived risk, customers engage extensively in product information search.

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Author: Jonas



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