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The Impact of Social Media on Customer Purchase Decision

Page 1 of 18

Names: Nice IHOZO

Class: Marketing 3,1

Research methods Assignment



2. Literature Review        

2.0 introduction        

2.1. Definition of main concepts        

2.2. The influence of Social Media on consumers during their decision-making process        

2.3. conceptual framework        

2.4. Conclusion        


2. Literature Review

2.0 introduction

In the last ten years, the marketing landscape has changed greatly. Back then, companies and their respective customers would not have first-hand links to each other (Jaffe, 2010, p160). However, in the current world, things have changed; where customers easily communicate, not only amongst each other, but also with companies. Through the continuous use of social media by consumers, by means of word of mouth thereby have a big influence on their peers. Social media and its correspondent tools is designed such that, customers can share their views about the products they have used and even recommend those products. (Brown, and Hayes, (2008, p179-180).

Fotis, et, al (2012, p1) reminded that De Valck, et al (2009) proposed that 'the virtual communities are becoming important networks of consumers’ knowledge that has an impact on customer behaviour'. In addition, Wertime and Fenwick (2008, p31-51) included that 'consumers will probably be taking part than viewing' stating that these last years we have been witness of a shift in the consumer behaviour from being 'consumers as viewers' to 'consumers as participants'. This new behaviour is reflected by their increasing use of Social Media to become a participant. consumers' purchasing decision-making process appears thus to be influenced by Social Media in its different stages.

It is important to define the main ideas and concepts drawn from the literature review in order to perceive and master the rise of social media influence on the purchase decision-making process of consumers.  In a second part I will explain the various Consumers’ purchasing decision-making process models and theories that exist in the literature; and the last part will present the different types of Social Media available to consumers and I will talk about the influent roles that they play in the stages of Consumers’ purchasing decision-making process.

2.1. Definition of main concepts

Strauss and Frost (2011, p328) defined social media as 'a term used to explain the type of media that based on discussion and interaction between individuals online'. The main difference with traditional media is that, on social media the content is not produced as a corporate monologue, but rather it is see as a conversation where members can upload content, discuss, edit and rate each other's content (Strauss, J. what's more, Frost, R. 2011, p328).

For Solis (2011, p9) social media is not a one way broadcast channel but rather will be somewhat considered by Hoyer, and MacInnis (2010, p389) as a two-way communication where information from a personal source seems to be more distinctive than information from the mass media. This is because of the way that a person speaking makes it more real and is more convincing towards the audience. What holds our interest is that Social Media has a role to play in a business context. Parker (2011, pXVIII) defined Social Media as 'ways to spread the world about your brand or product on the Web using tools and sites that permit a conversation to take place amongst you and your target market.

Hoyer, and MacInnis (2010, p12) clarified that 'the way toward making on consumption decisions involves four stages: need and problem recognition and problem awareness, information search, decisions making, and Postpurchase evaluation’. As found in the figure below, the second stage can be divided in two sections, ‘information search’ and ‘evaluation of alternatives’.

[pic 1]

brown and Hayes (2008, p6) defined influence as 'the ability to affect an individual, thing or course of event' and as 'the action of creating an environment conductive into affecting someone else's opinion on a specific issue'.

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