Social Media Effects on Australian E-Commerce
Social Media Effects on Australian E-Commerce

Social Media Effects on Australian E-Commerce

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  • Pages: 10 (4877 words)
  • Published: November 12, 2018
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Introduction

The design of websites is increasingly incorporating social cues like helpfulness and familiarity, especially in e-commerce websites, with the primary objective of facilitating the exchange relationship (Adapa 2008). This draws on the assumption that social cues in websites evoke a social response from the visitors of the websites, which in turn leads to enjoyment. As a result, users have a tendency to patronize exciting, entertaining and stimulating websites. Studies affirm that lack of product touch and interaction with organizational representatives may inhibit the acceptance of and positive attitudes toward e-commerce (Haque, Khatib, & Al Mahmud 2009). High levels of interactions with e-commerce commodities and organizational representatives may increase positive attitudes towards electronic commerce, which in turn plays an integral role in influencing the decision to use e-commerce systems. E-commerce surveys conducted in 2009 reported that online shoppers have a preference of an interactive online shopping experience because they considered it more informative (Nezamabad 2011 ). This implies that online shoppers are likely to make a purchase from a website that has interactive components in

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corporated in the form of social cues. This research paper discusses the effects of social media on Australian e-commerce.

The Pervasive Effects of Social Media on Australian E-Commerce

A study by Wakefield et al (2011) reported that the inclusion of social clues in a website leads to greater beliefs regarding their user intentions, enjoyment, perceived usefulness, and perceived ease of use. The inference from this view is that social media tends to make the website friendly, informative and helpful, which increases the likelihood that users will make a purchase from that website. The study by Wakefield et al (2011) further stated that website socialness tends to evoke an effective social response from the users of e-commerce websites. This is because users associate website social clues with life-like attributes such as friendliness, informativeness, usefulness, politeness and intelligence. The fundamental assertion is that user’s perception of website’s sociability is a core element in approach used in explaining and predicting behavioral intentions in electronic commerce (Dunt & Harper 2002). As an analogy, users liken the inclusion of social media in the e-commerce websites to digital representatives.

E-commerce websites having immense social cues establish efficiencies for business enterprises through a reduction of ambiguity and enhancing continuing relationships with customers, suppliers and business partners. It is apparent that websites embedded with social cues create a social response from the users of the e-commerce website and thus leading to high levels of enjoyment when using the site because they believe that social cues in websites are enjoyable, adventurous and exciting (Wakefield et al. 2011). There is a positive correlation between enjoyable website experience and higher intentions of using the site, which in turn increases their personal connection with the online retailers. Such personal connections offer a valuable opportunity that online retailers can use to establish sustainable competitive advantage. Wakefield et a

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(2011) asserts that electronic retailers aiming at enhancing consumer’s attention and purchasing must evaluate the social aspects of the internet.

Social Media Eliminates Barriers to Personal Interaction

The current software and hardware used for personal interactions with online retailing websites target simultaneous group of online shoppers instead of the individual. This is a significant barrier to personal communication eliminated by the inclusion of social media in the web retailing sites (Town 1999). Irrespective of the shopping motivation, shopping behavior does not necessarily translates to a pleasant shopping experience or purchasing behavior. This is a typical characteristic of web retailing sites lacking the social aspects in their design. Fennech & O’Cass (2001) assert that the ultimate role played by the incorporation of social media in web retailing sites is that it leads to high levels of customer retail satisfaction at an individual level. This draws on the view that the shopping orientation of an individual is the significant determinant of the environment selected to engage in the shopping activity and their overall retail satisfaction (Fennech & O’Cass 2001).

A study by Fennech & O’Cass (2001), to examine the constructs that affect internet users’ adoption of web retailing and their perception towards product types bought via the web, indicated that attitude towards electronic retailing and perceived usefulness played an integral role in influencing the adoption of web retailing. The study indicated that favorable attitude resulted in high adoption of web retailing, while unfavorable attitudes resulted in under-utilization of web retailing frameworks. Fennech & O’Cass (2001) pointed out that lack of personal communication and interaction is the key determinant that differentiates between favorable and unfavorable attitudes, which implies that web retailing sites devoid of personal communication tools reported low levels of customer retail satisfaction. It is apparent that social media plays an integral role in eliminating barriers to personal interaction in web retailing sites, which in turn helps in increasing user satisfaction of retailing. In addition, social media plays an integral role in building trust of web retailing among internet users; this is because users place greater significance on interpersonal influence from sources like peer groups when making such a decision (Adapa 2011). The basic inference from this observation is that the incorporation of social media in electronic commerce helps in eliminating barriers to personal interaction and communication, which in turn increases the utilization of electronic commerce among Australian internet users. As such, online retailers can incorporate social media in their retailing sites to build trust with the potential internet shoppers.

Social media has the potential of increasing the number of web shoppers, generating repeat purchases, and fostering positive attitudes towards the use of online retailing in Australia. Fennech & O’Cass (2001) assert that social media is a key driver for the adoption of web retailing and elimination of the potential barriers associated with the utilization of web retailing. Therefore, online retailers can make use of social media to establish and increases their market share in the online environment because social media is a perfect tool to enhance online visibility. Social media presents a new retailing opportunity that online marketers can use to influence attitudes and

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