Online to Offline: The Impact of Social Media on Offline Sales in the Automobile Industry

Information Systems Research, forthcoming

46 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018 Last revised: 13 Dec 2021

See all articles by Yen-Yao Wang

Yen-Yao Wang

Auburn University - Harbert College of Business

Chenhui Guo

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems

Anjana Susarla

Michigan State University - The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management

Vallabh Sambamurthy

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems

Date Written: September 14, 2020

Abstract

Given the limited research into the impact of social media on offline sales of durable goods, this study examines the dynamic relationships between firm-generated content (FGC), user-generated content (UGC), traditional media, and offline light vehicle sales. Data were collected from the official Facebook and Twitter pages of 30 US car brands from 2009 to 2015 and a panel vector autoregressive model utilized to investigate the dynamic relationships among multiple time series variables, while controlling for influential durable goods characteristics. Our results suggest that Facebook and Twitter are heterogeneous in terms of their effect on offline vehicle sales; FGC is more effective than UGC for influencing offline light vehicle sales; viral impressions from Facebook and Twitter are essential, although effects vary for the various social media platforms, FGC, and UGC; and a firm’s marketing efforts and UGC both have a long-term effect on sales, with the long-term effect of a firm’s marketing efforts outlasting that of UGC. Improvements in predicting offline sales can be gained by incorporating FGC and UGC from Facebook and Twitter and traditional media. We also documented the within Twitter synergistic effect between FGC and UGC for offline car sales and cross-channel substitution relationships between FGC and both Facebook and traditional media and Twitter and traditional media. Finally, we provide guidance for managers seeking to leverage multichannel marketing to boost offline sales of durable goods.

Keywords: iFGC, UGC, traditional media, offline light vehicle sales, U.S. automobile industry, Facebook, Twitter, PVAR model

JEL Classification: C32, D22

Suggested Citation

Wang, Yen-Yao and Guo, Chenhui and Susarla, Anjana and Sambamurthy, Vallabhajosyula, Online to Offline: The Impact of Social Media on Offline Sales in the Automobile Industry (September 14, 2020). Information Systems Research, forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3094789 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3094789

Yen-Yao Wang

Auburn University - Harbert College of Business ( email )

415 Magnolia Ave.
Auburn, AL 36849
United States

Chenhui Guo

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems ( email )

632 Bogue Street, Room N260
East Lansing, MI Michigan 48824
United States

Anjana Susarla (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - The Eli Broad College of Business and The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824-1121
United States

Vallabhajosyula Sambamurthy

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems ( email )

270 North Business Complex
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
United States

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