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An empirical study of purchase behaviour on social platforms: The role of risk, beliefs and characteristics

Vladlena Benson (Kingston Business School, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston, UK)
Jean-Noel Ezingeard (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Chris Hand (Kingston Business School, Kingston Hill Campus, Kingston, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 30 October 2018

Issue publication date: 23 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Social media users’ purchasing behaviour is yet to be fully understood by research. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how purchase intention is affected by social media user traits, cognitive factors (such as perceived control and trust) and individual beliefs, such as risk propensity and trustworthiness.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose and empirically test a model of purchase intention on social platforms. The study of over 500 active social media users finds the links between risk propensity, trust, technical efficacy and perceived control and explores the moderating effect of age and gender.

Findings

Purchase intention on social platforms is influenced by demographic factors, cognitive factors and beliefs. Both age and gender moderate the effects of beliefs and cognitive factors: age is a determinant of purchase intention for men, while beliefs are significant for younger women and cognitive factors are significant for older women.

Research limitations/implications

This study involved a cross-sectional design via online survey of social networking users. Gender differences in purchase intentions are found which are, in turn, influenced by age. Further empirical testing of social purchase intention could include less experienced users or non-users.

Practical implications

The results of this study provide guidance for SNS providers and technology developers in social networking commerce in terms of the different drivers of purchase intention.

Originality/value

Social media users’ purchasing behaviour is yet to be fully understood. The study shows that purchase intention antecedents vary between genders and age groups of users. The identified connection between users’ perceptions of social networking sites (SNS) usage of personal information and purchase behaviour has an impact on the likelihood of user engagement in social transactions.

Keywords

Citation

Benson, V., Ezingeard, J.-N. and Hand, C. (2019), "An empirical study of purchase behaviour on social platforms: The role of risk, beliefs and characteristics", Information Technology & People, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 876-896. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-08-2017-0267

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited