An investigation of customers' loyalty to social commerce websites

Alhulail, H 2018, An investigation of customers' loyalty to social commerce websites, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title An investigation of customers' loyalty to social commerce websites
Author(s) Alhulail, H
Year 2018
Abstract The emergence of web 2.0 has brought new applications that have played a significant role in extending electronic commerce websites with social commerce functionality. Social commerce is a relatively new extension of B2C electronic commerce where customers purchase products and services online with the existence of social cues in the websites (such as reviews, recommendations and sharing). In this thesis, the research examines those websites which fulfil the role of a traditional eCommerce website but have also had added to them a range of social interaction features. There has been little research in the area of customer loyalty to social commerce websites. Drawing upon theories of social presence and trust (and the Delone and McLean model of information systems success) this study aims to determine what factors affect customer loyalty to social commerce websites and to develop a framework that helps in investigating those factors. In order to achieve this objective, a quantitative approach was employed. Data was collected from social commerce users in Australia through an online survey. The quantitative survey of online social commerce customers' opinions regarding the measurement items was based on a probability sample of qualified Australian customers of social commerce websites. A stratified random sampling was used with all Australian states that constitute the strata of the Australian population. The population of the study consisted of male and female customers of multiple social commerce websites who live in Australia. Nine hundred and ninety-seven surveys were collected. After screening the data, 797 surveys were ready to be analysed. An analysis was performed using a Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) technique with SmartPLS 3 software. The findings demonstrated that reputation, satisfaction, word-of-mouth, and social presence positively contribute to explaining the variance in trust. In contrast, communication, and online shopping experience did not contribute to explain the variance in trust. Examining the relevance of significant relationships between the six exogenous constructs with trust, the results showed that satisfaction, reputation, word-of-mouth, and social presence carried comparable weights in impacting trust with path coefficients that were different in magnitude. The results imply that satisfaction, reputation, word-of-mouth and social presence are important factors to predict trust rather than communication, and online shopping experience. Among the exogenous constructs as predictors of satisfaction, service quality and information quality influence satisfaction were the most significant, whereas system quality did not influence satisfaction significantly. Finally, this study found that satisfaction, trust and social presence have a significant influence on customer loyalty to a social commerce website. This study contributes to the social commerce literature through a theoretical framework that shows how the loyalty of customers can be generated in social commerce websites. In addition, it is expected that this study will help businesses to have an understanding of how to retain their customers, which will result in higher profits. From a customer perspective, this study will give customers a way to objectively evaluate whether a social commerce site provides quality products and services. Furthermore, the study will motivate businesses to improve their websites, which in turn will provide customers with better website services.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Interorganisational Information Systems and Web Services
Keyword(s) social commerce
social presence
customer loyalty
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Created: Wed, 06 Feb 2019, 11:05:24 EST by Keely Chapman
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