All HI6008 Students Enrol in the Semester 2/2017 need to follow below Assignment structure:
- Project Objective
- Project Scope
- Literature Review
(Students’ needs to summarise Assignment 1 literature review (2-3 pages) and do justification from Assignment 1 literature problems, gaps opportunities, Hypothesis)
- Research Questions/Hypothesis
– Primary Question (only one question)
– Secondary Questions (1, 2 ….)
Research questions should be linked to Literature Problems, Gaps, and Hypothesis
- Research Design and Methodology
- Qualitative research
(Students should propose the Process of the Qualitative Research (Main Steps), Approaches to reliability and Validity, Sampling, Sample Size, Data Collection Method, Variables Specifications)
- Quantitative research
(Students should propose the process of the Quantitative Research Design Process (Main Steps), Research Instrument, Quantitative Data Analysis Process, Sampling and Simple Size, Interviewing and Questionary Design, Reliability and Validity of Data)
- Research Limitations
- Time Schedule (Research plan)
- Reference List
NOTE: Students are not with requirements to collect and analyse data
For this assessment, students are expected to present a written research proposal that is based on the literature review (Assessment 1) and demonstrates their understanding of business research/research paradigm. Based on their literature review, students are required to write a business research proposal outlining the details of the proposed research project that addresses the gaps identified in the literature. Derived from the business topic, the proposal needs to include clearly state research questions (primary and secondary), and provide a solid research methodology that supports the feasibility of the research project Marking criteria of the research proposal include: the justification of the research questions that operationalize the research topic; the demonstration of a detailed research methodology addressing research instrument, sample size and sampling approach, research location/s and schedule as well as providing a critical assessment of the limitations of the methodology and the expected outcome of the research project.
Marking Criteria’s Marks
Research Project Introduction and justification -5
Research Questions and justification- 15
Research Methodology- 30
TOTAL MARKS -50
word limit- 1750.
refrencing style – harward style.
TOPIC- LITRATURE REVIEW.
With the advent and expansion of internet, the business world has gone through a paradigm shift in terms of the way business transactions which are carried out these days. Electronic commerce or e commerce has become one of the predominant mediums of carrying out business activities in which the buying or selling process is carried out over the World Wide Web. There are also various other technologies which has led to the increasing relevance of e commerce. One of such factors is the social media which has led to the opportunity of further expansion of e commerce through this specific channel. Social e commerce can be defined as a subset of e commerce which is carried out through social media, which facilitates the process of online buying and selling of products and services with the help of social interaction as well as contributions from the other users.
Social e commerce serves a number of objectives for the business entities which are as following (Canhoto, 2013):
- Social e commerce helps the business entities to connect with consumers with the brand and product offering as per the social behaviors of the customers.
- Social e commerce provides an incentive for the consumers for returning to the website of the brand and product.
- Social e commerce provides the customers with a platform which helps in discussing on the subject of the brand and product on the websites.
- Social e commerce helps in providing all the necessary information which is required by the customers for researching, comparing, and choosing a specific brand over the other substitute brands available and thus making a favorable purchasing decision.
In this paper, a discussion will be carried out for the purpose of looking into various opportunities and problems of the social e commerce which can be gathered from the previous researches and papers which have been carried out on the same or similar topic.
The objective which is being addressed through this paper is to create a comprehensive account of the opportunities and problems of the social e commerce.
The objective that has been decided for this research through this paper will be done through a secondary research. For this research the data which will be collected will be of qualitative nature in view of the fact the topic that is being address in this study is explorative and not investigative. Hence the appropriate data will be needed for the further discussion on the topic. The method for collection of data which will be used for the purpose of this research is a secondary research. In this type of research the researcher collects the data from various previous researches and related articles which have been developed on the themes which are same or similar to the topic of the research at hand. Through this collection of data, the data which are collected can be used for the development of an understanding regarding the topic that is being discussed. This paper will be gathering these ideas and will be elaborating on the opinions of these researchers to date in regard to opportunities and problems of social e commerce. The research scope for this is as following:
- To identify the type of data which is needed to be collected for this research and to identify the kind of research which is needed to be carried out for the collection of such data
- Literature review in regard to the opportunities and problems of social e commerce.
- Analysing the data and determining scope of subsequent researches for generating the second-stage analysis data that will be refined by applying criteria determined from the literature review.
- Producing conclusions and recommendations directly linked to, and wherever possible answering, the research questions.
As has been identified by a number of previous researchers and industry practitioners, the biggest advantage which can be identified for the social e commerce is that the consumers tend to influence other consumers for the purpose of their purchase decision making (Clinton, 1997). Social media, for the very nature of the same, is highly interactive. Hence this platform is helped through the constant interaction between the seller and buyer as well as the buyers and other buyers. Social e commerce helps the business entities to connect with consumers with the brand and product offering as per the social behaviors of the customers. This leads to a long-lasting brand recall for the consumers. Also, it is easier for the companies to share different types of information much easily with the consumers.
Some of the major opportunities which the companies are presented with the social e commerce are as following:
The posts which are made by the companies on the platform of social media for provides them with opportunities for converting the customers. Post the company is able to develop the brand followers; the social media platform provides the company an access to old customers, new customers, and recent customers. This helps the companies in interacting with the all the clients. Social e commerce provides the customers with a platform which helps in discussing on the subject of the brand and product on the websites. All the blog posts, images, videos, or comments which the sellers share with the end consumers provide the consumers the chance to react. All of these reactions of the consumers lead to better site visits, and ultimately conversion of the selling. However, it is important to understand for the sellers that all the interactions regarding the brand will be resulting towards a conversion. However, each of the positive interaction adds to the chance of an ultimate conversion. In spite of the lower click through rates, the high degree of opportunities which social media provide the sellers with is significant (Turban, 20120).
Social media are also more sophisticated and very contemporary in terms of the marketing opportunity which the platform provides to the sellers as a highly effective and efficient successor of old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. Social networks allow people to (Schultz, 2013):
- share experiences,
- exchange views,
- express their dissatisfaction.
Social e commerce also helps the companies with higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Social e commerce provides an incentive for the consumers for returning to the website of the brand and product. This in turn increases the chance of companies with higher conversion rates. Also in view of the fact the social e commerce helps in providing all the necessary information which is required by the customers for researching, comparing, and choosing a specific brand over the other substitute brands available and thus making a favorable purchasing decision (Wang, 2010).
One of the most significant factors for social e commence is the humanization element of the same. By interacting through the social media channels, the companies become more humanized which adds to the better connect for the consumers with the sellers. Social media provides the brands the opportunity for acting like the individuals who are friends and acquaintances of the customers. This is of significant importance in view of the fact people like doing business with other people; as compared to the companies. This also increases the trust of the consumers on the brands. Due to the social media interaction the faith on the promise of the brands increases which in turn leads to better conversion rates for the prospective buyers.
It has also been shown in various previous studies that social media presents the companies with 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. Building the audience in social media can improve conversion rates on the existing traffic for the company (Canhoto, 2013).
A highly significant new trend which has come in is social search for the purchase decision making. More number of customers these days are using the social media for searching for the information regarding the products or services as compared to the search engines such as Google. The social search has become very significant for finding information. This happens subconsciously in which the consumers instead of searching the entire World Wide Web, approach their friends on Facebook or contacts on LinkedIn or Twitter. It speeds up the search and makes the result more reliable (Holsing, 2102).
However, despite all of these opportunities, there are few problems of the social e commerce as well. These are as following:
As opposed to the popular belief, the cost of setting up an efficient and effective social e commerce model and strategy calls for a significant investment on part of the brand and the company and this can be a serious deterrent for the same. Hence this needs to be identified as one of the few problems of the social e commerce (Trainor, 2014).
Due to the nature of the social media platform, there is a major chance of negative word of mouth in case the companies make any intended or unintended mistake. Also, this negative word of mouth spreads quite quickly which leads to a lot of problem for the brand and the reputation of the same. There are various examples of this which has happened in the past including the largest brands such as Amazon etc. The disgruntled consumers also tend to continuously add to the negative feedback for the companies which also affect the other prospective consumers of the brand. Hence the companies need to develop something like social media guidelines that determine certain basic principles and make non-compliant behavior punishable for the internal stakeholders. This decreases the chance of any goof up by the brand (Trainor, 2014).
In this paper, a discussion has been carried out on the challenges and opportunities of social e commerce. Due to the advent and expansion of internet over the last couple of decades, there has been a high degree of changes in the business world which has led to paradigm shift in terms of the way business transactions which are carried out these days. Electronic commerce or e commerce has become one of the predominant mediums of carrying out business activities in which the buying or selling process is carried out over the World Wide Web. There are also various other technologies which has led to the increasing relevance of e commerce. One of such factors is the social media which has led to the opportunity of further expansion of e commerce through this specific channel. Social e commerce can be defined as a subset of e commerce which is carried out through social media, which facilitates the process of online buying and selling of products and services with the help of social interaction as well as contributions from the other users. In this discussion, the advantages as well as disadvantages of the same have been looked into. In spite of few of the challenges which can be identified for this, it can be confirmed that there are a lot of benefits and advantages for social e commerce.
Some of the advantages of social e commerce are as following (Schweidel, 2014):
- Better opportunities for converting the prospective purchasers
- Higher conversion rates for the prospective buyers
- Social Search
Schultz, D. E., & Peltier, J. (2013). Social media’s slippery slope: Challenges, opportunities and future research directions. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(2), 86–99.
Schweidel, D. A., & Moe, W. W. (2014). Listening in on social media: A joint model of sentiment and venue format choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 51(4), 387–402
Trainor, K. J., Andzulis, J. M., Rapp, A., & Agnihotri, R. (2014). Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: A capabilities-based examination of social CRM. Journal of Business Research, 67(6), 1201–1208
Canhoto, A. I., & Clark, M. (2013). Customer service 140 characters at a time: The users’ perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(5–6), 522–544.
Clinton, W. J., & Gore, J. A. (1997, July 1). A Framework For Global Electronic Commerce. Retrieved November 18, 2007, from World Wide Web Consortium: http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTEframework-970706.html
- Wang, P. Zhang. (2010) The evolution of social commerce: The people, management, technology, and information dimensions. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 2012
- Turban, N. Bolloju and T.P. Liang (2010) Social commerce: An ecommerce perspective. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Commerce: Roadmap for the Future of Electronic Business.
- Holsing, R. Olbrich (2012) Effect of user-generated content on website stickiness: the case of social shopping communities. Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference on Electronic Commerce, 2012.
Figure 1: eCommerce revenues from Social platforms
Figure 2: Changing dynamics of eCommerce Operation