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Social media commerce: an empirical study of platform, people and information from the trust transfer perspective

Yingxuan Zhang (Department of Business Administration, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong)
Monica Law (Department of Business Administration, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong)
Xiling Cui (Department of Business Administration, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong)
Lingman Huang (Department of Business Administration, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 8 April 2024

Issue publication date: 7 May 2024

99

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the mechanisms underlying social media commerce by investigating the interplay between platforms, people and information. Drawing upon trust transfer theory, the research model proposes that the platform’s information provision enhances the credibility of the information source, leading to increased information usefulness, adoption and sharing, ultimately influencing purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design used in this study was a quantitative approach using a cross-sectional survey method. The study developed a research model based on trust transfer theory and hypothesized relationships between the platform’s information provision, information source credibility, information-related responses and purchase intention. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the collected data and test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The findings supported most of the hypotheses and provided valuable insights into the role of information credibility in shaping consumers’ purchase intentions. Specifically, the study revealed that the platform’s information provision enhances the credibility of the information source, leading to increased information usefulness, adoption and sharing. Furthermore, information usefulness and adoption mediate the relationship between information source credibility and purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research include the use of convenience sampling, which may not represent the broader population, and the cross-sectional design, which does not provide an in-depth understanding of the adoption process. The reliance on self-reported data and the limited scope of investigation with only six constructs are additional limitations. Future studies should consider national random sampling, longitudinal designs, multiple data sources and explore negative effects and other potential mediating variables. Despite these limitations, this research contributes to the understanding of social media commerce mechanisms and provides valuable insights for practitioners in the field.

Practical implications

The findings of this study provide valuable insights for platform providers and marketers in the social media commerce environment. First, the study emphasizes the importance of effective messaging in improving information credibility. Platform providers should focus on delivering accurate and trustworthy information to enhance consumers’ perceptions of product quality and increase purchase intentions. Second, marketers can leverage the information-related factors identified in this study, such as information usefulness and adoption, to optimize their marketing efforts. By understanding how consumers perceive and interact with information on social media platforms, marketers can tailor their strategies to effectively engage and influence potential customers. Overall, these practical implications can enhance success in the competitive social media commerce landscape.

Social implications

The social implications of this study are significant for social media commerce practitioners. The findings highlight the importance of effective messaging and information provision on social media platforms in improving information credibility, thereby enhancing purchase intention. By understanding the mechanisms that drive consumer behavior in the context of social media commerce, platform providers and marketers can optimize their marketing efforts. This includes focusing on delivering trustworthy and useful information, fostering information adoption and sharing among users and ultimately increasing the likelihood of successful transactions. These insights provide valuable guidance for practitioners to navigate the competitive landscape of social media commerce and enhance their chances of success.

Originality/value

The originality of this research lies in its application of trust transfer theory to investigate the mechanisms driving social media commerce. By examining the interplay between platform, people and information, the study specifically focuses on the role of the platform’s information provision in enhancing information credibility and its impact on information-related responses and purchase intentions. This study extends the understanding of the trust transfer mechanism between customers and sellers/brands in customer-to-customer social commerce by emphasizing the importance of effective messaging and information credibility in shaping consumer behavior. The empirical findings contribute to the understanding of information trust transfer and provide a unique perspective on the underlying mechanisms that drive social media commerce.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, Y., Law, M., Cui, X. and Huang, L. (2024), "Social media commerce: an empirical study of platform, people and information from the trust transfer perspective", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 164-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-07-2023-0123

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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