Title: Effectiveness of social network sites for influencing consumer purchase decisions

Authors: Sanjeev Verma

Addresses: National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), P.O. NITIE, Vihar Lake, Mumbai, 400087, India

Abstract: The changing lifestyle and consumer preferences have made marketers to explore different mediums to reach the targeted customers. Social networking sites are the emerging platforms to communicate with the customers and influencing their purchase decisions. Product promotion through social media provides the advantages of viral marketing and electronic word of mouth at a very reasonable cost. This instrument need careful implementation because any negative feedback through network can spoil the brand image and in the longer run the profitability of the company. This study examines the empirical support for social networking sites as influencer to various stages of consumer purchase decision viz improvement in product knowledge, change in attitude towards the product, impulse to purchase the product and post purchase customer relationship. Regression analysis was performed to assess the dependency relationship between various stages of consumer purchase decision (dependent variables) and various forms of communication over social networking sites (independent variables). The results of data analysis provide the support for hypothesised positive relationship between communication over social networking sites and various stages of consumer purchase decision. The implications of this study's findings for the future research and practice are described in the last section of this paper.

Keywords: social networking sites; SNS; consumer purchase decisions; CPD; product knowledge; customer attitudes; customer relationships; viral marketing; word of mouth; WoM; intention to buy; social media; purchasing impulse.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2013.056112

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2013 Vol.6 No.5, pp.624 - 634

Published online: 14 Aug 2013 *

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