Social shopping relies on word-of-mouth, with marketers turning to social shopping rewards (SSRs) to generate social buzz. According to US regulatory bodies, these types of rewards, if considered endorsements, must be disclosed. Yet, little is known about the impact of disclosure of SSRs. To address this gap, this study aims to examine the impact of disclosure of SSRs on consumer responses.
Respondents were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions via an online survey. The “no disclosure” condition featured a hypothetical friend’s tweet of a product (n = 91). The “disclosure” conditions featured the same tweet, either with the words “Sponsored Tweet” in a boxed tweet (n = 50) or with a hashtag “#Sponsored” (n = 48). All respondents completed a questionnaire designed to address the hypotheses.
No differences between the disclosure conditions were found, thus they were combined and compared to the non-disclosure condition. Of the 13 hypotheses, 9 were sustained by significant correlations. Disclosure to consumers that a product review was sponsored by a marketer strengthens the relationships between certain model constructs, i.e. between dual source credibility and attitude toward the message and between attitude toward the message and attitude toward the brand.
This study is the first to empirically test the impact of disclosure of SSRs on consumer responses in a social shopping context. Findings provide marketers and practitioners with a solution to complying with regulatory requirements in ways that do not hurt consumer responses to social buzz.
Coker, K.K. and Altobello, S.A. (2016), "The role of disclosure of social shopping rewards in social buzz", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 321-337. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-06-2016-0058
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