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One person’s trash is another person’s treasure: Profiling consumer-to-consumer e-commerce in Facebook

Hannu Saarijärvi (Faculty of Management, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Johanna Joensuu (Research and Education Centre Synergos, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Timo Rintamaki (Research and Education Centre Synergos, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Mika Yrjölä (Faculty of Management, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 7 November 2018

Issue publication date: 21 November 2018

2096

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) electronic commerce (e-commerce) is shaping contemporary retailing. Despite the fact that a large amount of C2C e-commerce is conducted in social media-based platforms (e.g. Facebook), it has remained an unexplored area of research, though social media as a commercial platform can result in differing customer value and, thus, has potential for consumer experiences that lie beyond the reach of traditional C2C e-commerce actors. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to identify and explore distinct consumer profiles of C2C e-commerce in social media.

Design/methodology/approach

Confirmatory factor analysis and cluster analysis are employed to analyze the data from a quantitative survey focusing on C2C e-commerce.

Findings

Four distinct consumer profiles are introduced and discussed: enthusiasts, bargain hunters, salvagers and apathetics. These profiles capture what kind of value consumers perceive in exchanging used goods with other consumers in Facebook.

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from one country. Cultural differences in how C2C e-commerce and the role of Facebook are perceived might influence the generalizability of the results. The data set was cross-sectional and based on self-reported data.

Practical implications

First, the study indicates that the social media can offer a unique platform for C2C e-commerce that may result in unique and differentiated consumption experiences. Second, firms should carefully analyze how their existing segments match the consumer profiles presented in this study (enthusiasts, bargain hunters, salvagers, apathetics) to assess future value creation potential and challenges. Third, traditional retailers should evaluate the possibility of acting as a platform for C2C commerce or other types of C2C interaction in order to offer their customers benefits that are characteristic for C2C e-commerce.

Originality/value

This study is among the first attempts to profile C2C e-commerce consumers in social media setting. Interestingly, the profiles differ not in terms of traditional consumer demographics, but on the basis of what kind of value they perceive. Altogether, they grant interesting empirical access to explore the potential and implications of social media-based C2C e-commerce.

Keywords

Citation

Saarijärvi, H., Joensuu, J., Rintamaki, T. and Yrjölä, M. (2018), "One person’s trash is another person’s treasure: Profiling consumer-to-consumer e-commerce in Facebook", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 46 No. 11/12, pp. 1092-1107. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-04-2017-0091

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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