Growing evidence asserts that individuals are inclined to buy impulsively in the social commerce environment due to interactive elements. However, extant literature does not reveal the influence of emerging digital celebrities and their communities on impulse buying, although users may encounter them synchronously. Hence, this study explores the impact of parasocial relationships and social climate on impulse buying following the stimulus–organism–response framework with the incorporation of the urge to buy. Besides, this research investigates the role of hedonic and utility gratification-seeking behavior in parasocial relationships following uses and gratifications theory (UGT).
An empirical research study was conducted on Facebook, and data were collected from Pakistani users who followed digital celebrities. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) approach was employed to analyze the valid data of 231 respondents.
The results indicate that integrated constructs significantly influence impulse buying with complementary partial mediation of urge to buy. Besides, social climate significantly interacts the relationship of parasocial relationships and impulse buying. Further, passing time, enjoyment and information seeking has a significant impact on parasocial relationships, except for self-presentation.
This research provides key knowledge to comprehend the overall phenomenon of emerging digital celebrities through the integration of their parasocial relationships and the social climate of their communities, with potential intervening and interaction effects. This study also unveils the role of gratifications in building digital celebrities' parasocial relationships.
The work described in this paper has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71573030 and No. 71533001), the Social Science Planning Fund Program, Liaoning Province (No. L19BGL001) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. DUT20RW207). Further, the authors want to extend their gratitude toward the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their indispensable and valuable suggestions that significantly improved the quality of the manuscript.The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
Zafar, A.U., Qiu, J. and Shahzad, M. (2020), "Do digital celebrities' relationships and social climate matter? Impulse buying in f-commerce", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-04-2019-0142Download as .RIS
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