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The role of social media during the pre-purchasing stage

Sujin Song (Department of Hospitality Management, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Myongjee Yoo (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 1 February 2016




The purpose of this paper is to examine whether social media may impact a customer’s purchasing decision during the pre-purchase stage of service consumption.


This study implemented a primary field survey design and developed an online self-administered questionnaire. A total of 285 usable questionnaires were collected. Factor analysis was performed to condense the large set of independent variables, and multiple regression analysis was performed to test the study hypotheses.


The results indicate that the benefits of social media do have a positive relation with customers purchase decision, but not all items are crucial to a similar extent. Functional (convenience, efficiency, information, sharing experiences) and monetary (free coupons, price discounts, special deals) benefits from social media were found to have a positive impact on customers’ purchase decision (H1, H2), while socio-psychological benefits were found to have no relationship with customers’ decision (H4). Still, hedonic benefits (amusement, enjoyment, entertainment, fun) were found to have a relationship with purchase decision (H3).


While social media received much attention in research due to its rapid development and its popularity, there are still limited studies that investigated the effect of social media during the pre-purchasing stage. Findings of this study are expected to contribute to the growing body of hospitality research on social media. Additionally, this research is expected to assist hospitality businesses to understand customers’ behavior regards to social media and develop appropriate marketing strategies.



Song, S. and Yoo, M. (2016), "The role of social media during the pre-purchasing stage", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 84-99.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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