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Adoption of Social Media by Online Retailers: Assessment of Current Practices and Future Directions

Adoption of Social Media by Online Retailers: Assessment of Current Practices and Future Directions
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Author(s): Farhod P. Karimov (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) and Malaika Brengman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Copyright: 2011
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Pages: 20
Source title: International Journal of E-Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IJEEI)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Charice Hayes (Walden University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jeei.2011010103

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Abstract

In the online environment, the absence of social presence may prevent consumers from purchasing online, while it can enhance their trust, loyalty and enjoyment toward the e-retailer. Thus, today many online retailers try to create social presence by adopting media-rich technologies. In this paper, the authors assess to what degree social media cues are currently adopted by thriving web-vendors and on that basis speculate about future developments. To this purpose, 210 top B2C e-commerce websites have been content analyzed to identify how they differ in the deployment of diverse social media cues. While a wide range of social media cues are adopted by a majority of top e-retailers, a number of more advanced social media features like avatars, recommendation agents, and video-streams are in their infancy where adoption is concerned. The paper demonstrates that the utilization of social media features differs according to the monetary and symbolic value of products sold by the e-commerce vendors.

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