Selling on Social Media? The Impact of Introducing A Shop Section on Social Media Fan Pages on Customer Behaviors
36 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2019 Last revised: 30 Oct 2019
Date Written: August 6, 2019
While firms’ use of social media fan pages for marketing has received widespread attention among academics and industry professionals, few studies have examined the impact of firms creating shop sections or storefronts on these fan pages. On the one hand, adding a shop section may increase customers’ engagement and purchases as it makes product information more easily available to social media users. On the other hand, it may also highlight the commercial objective of fan pages to its users, which could create dissonance among customers and lead to reduced use or unsubscribing from the firm’s social media fan page. In this paper, we examine the impact of adding a shop section in fan pages on customers’ decisions to engage, purchase and unfollow a firm. We find that introducing a shop section on fan page has both positive and negative consequences for the firm: although introducing a shop section benefits the firm by increasing engagement and purchase, it also increases unfollowing behavior among social media followers. We further find that the impact of shop section usage is moderated by customer privacy sensitivity; the positive (negative) impact is greater (smaller) for customers who are willing to disclose their demographic information (e.g., age and gender) to firms on social media. Our results have important implications for both theory and practice: the inclusion of shop sections on social media fan pages are not costless, and firms should strategically target customers when leveraging the shop section to maximize its benefits.
Keywords: social media, fan page shop section, selling, unfollow, purchase, engagement
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