How do digital influencers affect social commerce intention? The roles of social power and satisfaction

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1086
Number of pages22
Journal / PublicationInformation Technology & People
Issue number3
Online published30 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021



Purpose - The success of social commerce depends on consumers' willingness to participate in social commerce activities. Practitioners have attached increasing attention to facilitating social commerce intention with influencer strategies. However, theoretical understanding or empirical investigation on the impact of digital influencers on consumers' social commerce intention is limited. This study aims to provide new insights into the drivers of two forms of social commerce intention: social shopping and social sharing intention. Based on the theoretical lens of social power, this study answers how digital influencers affect consumer satisfaction and ultimately boost their intention to conduct social commerce activities. 
Design/methodology/approach - A field interview is conducted to determine the appropriate social power forms. An online survey on a large social commerce site in China with 310 respondents is conducted to test the proposed model. 
Findings - Results indicate that expert power and referent power derived from digital influencers predict most of the consumers' economic satisfaction, whereas referent power and reciprocity power explain consumers' social satisfaction. Economic satisfaction affects social shopping and social sharing intention, whereas social satisfaction only influences social sharing intention. 
Originality/value -  This study sheds new light on the theoretical understanding of the effect of digital influencers through a lens of social power. It provides new insight into the determinants of social commerce intention. It also compensates for the neglect of social satisfaction in the social commerce context.

Research Area(s)

  • Digital influencers, Economic and social satisfaction, Social commerce intention, Social power

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