Viral effects of social network and media on consumers’ purchase intention

Gunawan, D. and Huarng, K. (2015). Viral effects of social network and media on consumers’ purchase intention. Journal of Business Research, 68(11), pp.2237-2241.

Keywords:  Viral marketing, eWOM, SEM, fsQCA

Main idea: This article is based on a study that explains how SNM influences people to make purchases. The research they conducted is surveys completed by people who use three SNM platforms.
The SEM results proved that SNM has no correlation with consumer’s purchasing, whereas fsQCA shows the opposite.


SNM sites are growing, and affect their user’s lives by forming connections among these users. SNM Viral marketing is often used as an electronic WOM, since a lot of people are connected and state their opinions and tastes online. The messages are transmitted way faster than they once were, which benefits the market as well as the consumers.

The study is based on three theories that make sense when put together (TRA, IAM and perceived risk). The first one is used to understand and predict behavior. The second one basically explains how one adopts to a new model, or technology. The latter clarifies the overall risk a consumer feels before and after purchasing a particular item.

The study gathered data taken from users who completed surveys they got online via these SNM sites. Based on the results, the researches would define if the theories can still apply. The findings prove that social influence is, indeed, the first leading impact.
To conclude, the SEM results indicates that social influence and the source credibility is very important and showing in consumer’s attitude toward receiving and trusting an information. Consumers are more comfortable in listening to opinions from credible sources rather than trusting arguments written with quality.


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