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Local social network structure and promotion effectiveness in social commerce

Huasi Xu (Department of Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Yidi Liu (Department of Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Bingqing Song (Department of Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Xueyan Yin (Department of Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong)
Xin Li (Department of Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong) (City University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, China)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

Issue publication date: 18 March 2024

397

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on social network and information diffusion theories, the authors study the impact of the structural characteristics of a seller’s local social network on her promotion effectiveness in social commerce.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors define a local social network as one formed by a focal seller, her directly connected users and all links among these users. Using data from a large social commerce website in China, the authors build econometric models to investigate how the density, grouping and centralization of local social networks affect the number of likes received by products posted by sellers.

Findings

Local social networks with low density, grouping and centralization are associated with more likes on sellers’ posted products. The negative effects of grouping and centralization are reduced when density is high.

Originality/value

The paper deepens the understanding of the determinants of social commerce success from a network structure perspective. In particular, it draws attention to the role of sellers’ local social networks, forming a foundation for future research on social commerce.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor and the reviewers for their invaluable comments and suggestions throughout the review process. The research is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant 71572169]; the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China [GRF 11501722, 11500519]; Guangdong Natural Science Foundation [Grant 2015A030313876] and the City University of Hong Kong [SRG 7005474, 7200681].

Citation

Xu, H., Liu, Y., Song, B., Yin, X. and Li, X. (2024), "Local social network structure and promotion effectiveness in social commerce", Information Technology & People, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 700-728. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-10-2021-0737

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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