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The impact of positive valence and negative valence on social commerce purchase intention

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New research emphasizes the importance of social communications in e-commerce purchase decision-making processes but there are many technical and social challenges such as multi-faceted trust concerns. How consumers view and value referent’s online testimonials, ratings, rants and raves, and product usage experiences remain an important factor that needs to be better understood. Social commerce as a relatively new stream in e-commerce yet is growing fast and gaining the attention of scholars and practitioners, especially due to recent revenue developments. Consistent with e-commerce websites that do not enable consumer feedback, trust is a challenging matter for consumers to consider when they visit social commerce websites. Researching trust models and influences is increasingly important especially with the proliferation of online word of mouth (WOM) strongly effecting many consumers at many different phases of social commerce purchase decision making and transacting. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


This study examines the effects and importance of institution-based trust and WOM within a model of consumer behaviour on social commerce websites. This research examines how trust and consumer feedback may affect consumers’ purchase intentions. This study collects data from the little-understood market of urban Iran and develops a research model to examine consumers’ purchase intentions on social commerce websites. A robust data set from urban Iran (n=512) is analyzed using partial least squares regression to analyze the proposed model.


The results of the analysis show that institution-based trust influences social media communication, leading to elevated purchase intention on social commerce websites. This research adds to the prior literature that espouses on the importance of consumers developing strong beliefs of vendor trust in social commerce platforms.


Explaining how consumer purchase decision making is effected by using institution-based trust and electronic WOM in a little understood Middle Eastern context an important contribution of this research. Suggestions on practical and theoretical developments of this research in the sharing commerce research stream conclude this paper.
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Keywords: E-commerce (B2B/B2C/B2G/G2C); Information sharing; Institution-based trust; Sharing commerce; Sharing economy; Social commerce; Social media; Web 2.0

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Management, Swansea University, Swansea, UK

Publication date: August 23, 2019

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