Behavioral intention toward social commerce has been explained mainly by consumers’ pursuit of utilitarian and economic value. However, in this paper, we show that consumers can be drawn to social commerce primarily for the pursuit of social value. Based on quantitative data from 193 university students, we found the pursuit of socialization, not usefulness or value, was the main driver for consumers’ behavioral intention toward social commerce services. The results of this study demonstrate social commerce as a vehicle for social value in the form of social capital gains and social engagement. This presents a new use of social commerce and shifts away from understanding it solely as a vehicle for functional or economic value.

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Sprott School of Business

Doha, A, Elnahla, N. (Nada), & McShane, L. (2019). Social commerce as social networking. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 47, 307–321. doi:10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.11.008