Online social media is transforming the way customers communicate and exchange product information with others. Consumers increasingly rely on the opinions and recommendations from social media members when making purchasing decisions. However, information received from social media may have different meanings and social implications for consumers. Based on the theory of informational social influence and heuristic-systematic model (HSM), we develop a model to understand the relative importance of informational social influence, normative social influence, and perceived information quality on the consumer's social shopping intention under different levels of product involvement. The results of the structural equation modeling (SEM) using a sample of 503 consumers in the Facebook brand fan pages indicate that social influences have a greater impact on the consumer's social shopping intention than perceived information quality. Three social interactional factors (perceived similarity, familiarity, and expertise) have a positive effect on social shopping intention via the mediation of informational, normative social influence and perceive information quality. The multiple-group analysis suggests that high product-involved consumers are motivated to exert more cognitive effort to evaluate the product information. In contrast, low product-involved consumers are more susceptible to informational social influence. We draw on these findings to offer implications for researchers and practitioners.
- Heuristic-systematic model
- Informational social influence
- Normative social influence
- Social interaction
- Social shopping intention