The term social electronic commerce is considered to be that specific subset of electronic commerce which is seen to be involving the use of online and social media in the context of supporting the social interactions along with contributions of the users for assisting of online selling and buying of the services and products. In other terms, social e-commerce is also identified as the use of social networks within the perspective of transactions through electronic commerce. With the growth and development in the use of internet and web technology, the use of e-commerce has seen to find a much wide acceptance among users in the global industrial markets. With a growing number of internet users, and the rise in the popularity of social media, social electronic commerce has emerged to be among the key major platforms that can be used by business organizations across the globe for the purpose of facilitating online transactions for selling or buying of the products and services (Stephen, 2010). In this context, it can be said that with the growth and advancements in the field of internet technology e-commerce platforms are widely influenced by social media platforms. The use of social media can be largely used by business organizations to spread their product and service information among wider customer segments thereby positively influencing their overall purchasing behaviour. In the technical age, the majority of the customers are seen to be visiting social media for obtaining product and brand information and nearly a majority of them makers their purchasing decision through the information gathered from social media. Through social media organizations can offer their potential customers with valid product reviews which in turn can trigger the purchase decision or motivation among the customers. However, there lacks valid research on how social e-commerce can be implemented for better business growth and development in the age of competitive business and market environments. The following research will focus upon conducting a detailed and precise analysis of the different challenges as well as opportunities in using social electronic commerce for business growth, with referring to the organization of Woolworths, operating in the Australian retail industry market.
The research aims to analyze and identify in detail the challenges and opportunities concerning the use of social e-commerce for business growth and development considering the example of Woolworths, in the retail industry sector in Australia.
The objectives of the research have been identified as below;
The overall growth and popularity of social media, has resulted in a much greater influence of social media sites upon the electronic commerce platforms. This growing use has made social electronic commerce, to be among the significant part or subset of electronic commerce. In this context business organizations are seen to be focused upon using social media for the purpose of strengthening their electronic commerce activities, thereby fostering higher business growth and development. However, there lacks potential research on the challenges and opportunities that can be faced by an organization during the use and implementation of e-commerce for fostering of business growth and development (Liang, 2011). Therefore the research will clearly identify and analyze the dimension of the use of social media and their impacts upon the e-commerce activities of an organization. The advantages, as well as the disadvantages or limitations associated with social electric commerce, will be clearly evaluated and investigated in the research study. In addition, the perceptions of the customers or the consumers towards the use and implementation of social media in electronic commerce will also be analyzed in detail in the research study.
According to, Huang, (2013), with the growth of internet popularity and usage across the globe, the influences or impacts of social media on electronic commerce is seen to be becoming more and more prominent and important. The overall information and data shared through social media can be accessed by a large number of people or audiences which can lead to the successful spreading of information. The purchase intention of the present-day customers is seen to be majorly influenced by the product or brand knowledge and information derived from the use of social media platforms. The overall product links through electronic commerce websites’ are difficult to disseminate ass it limits the levels of interactions among the users. To rectify this electronic commerce malls are seen to be providing the customer’s ore audiences with the specific product reviews for helping the potential customers in choosing products and services. However, such reviews also lack significant interdiction among the users. In this context, integration of social media with electronic commerce platforms’ can be suggested to be a specific possible solution.
In the present age of technology, some electronic commerce websites have been successful in providing social networking services for enhancing the level of user interaction (Liang, 2011). This is directed towards making improvements regarding user interactions and participation with the expectation that interaction among the users can foster higher transactions. Considering the social media networks, the users can interact and exchange information and views among themselves. On grounds of making online purchases, the users can seek information from other users through the use of social media platforms. The term social commerce can be explained or identified as the form of internet-based social media which enables people and individuals towards active participation in the context of selling and marketing services and products in online communities and the marketplace places. On the other social commerce can also be considered to be a subpart of electronic commerce, involving the use of online and social media platforms for the purpose of selling products and services.
According to, Wang, (2012), the overall success of social commerce is seen to be dependent upon two specific aspects or characteristics. These are majorly user contributions and social interactions. The aspect of social interactions can be largely associated with the established link via the behaviour of reciprocity among two actors. In other words, it helps in the establishment of the overall link among units and people that is significantly facilitated or triggered through the use and implementation of social media. Now speaking in the context of social media, it is observed that the participation of users within the social media interactions, impacts the transferring of information and knowledge as the interactions through social media facilitates the provision of information exchange channels. This is also largely implied in the context of social commerce which can help in user interactions and promote social transactions. On the other hand, the success of social commerce is also seen to be based upon the contributions of the users that highlight the participation of the users in the context of social media. The contributions on the other hand are largely influenced by the overall commitment of users towards specific websites that impacts the online purchase intentions. The reviews of other users can largely motivate an individual towards making online purchases. However, concerning the issues, the overall safety and security challenges can be considered to be among the key limitations of the use of social commerce. However, with enhanced security and customer information, social media can be used for strengthening electric commerce platforms.
The literature review suggests that there exists a wide research gap concerning the use of social media in electronic commerce. However, with the growth and development of modern technology, the use of social media has found acceptance in electronic commerce (Curty, 2011). But there lacks the availability of the necessary research, observations or data that can educate the organizations regarding the benefits of the use of social commerce along with specifically identifying the key limitations and challenges associated with the use of social media in electronic commerce. Thus the selected research will effectively fulfil this research gap by identifying and analyzing the challenges and opportunities in respect to the use of social commerce for fostering business growth and development.
The primary research question can be identified as below;
The secondary research questions have been identified as below;
The overall research undertaken upon analysis of the challenges and opportunities related to the use of social electronic commerce will employ the implementation of a quantitative research method and design. In relation to the use of the quantitative research approach, the use of statistical or mathematical analysis will be performed for the purpose of analysis and interpretation of the data and information gathered from the primary data sources. In this context, the focus will be upon obtaining valid responses through a detailed research survey. The description of the details will be showcased in the following sections of the research methodology.
The research on the analysis of the challenges and opportunities related to the use of social electronic commerce will focus upon using primary data collection methods for gathering information and data relevant to the research area or topic. The use of this method is justified in the context of enabling the gathering of valid and accurate information and data related to the chosen research area (Flick, 2015). To fulfil this purpose, a detailed questionnaire survey will be conducted among sampled respondents group who will be selected from the staff and employees currently working in the organization of Woolworths, Australia. The survey will be based upon a well-developed questionnaire that will comprise of close-ended questions. The different sets of feedbacks thereby attained from the survey will be then measured by using a Likert scale, so as to obtain valid and reliable numeric information and data. This information will then be analyzed for attaining valuable research findings and outcomes.
IN order to sample the respondents for the questionnaire survey, the use of simple random sampling is employed in the selected research. This is a kind of probability sampling in which the random samples are selected for the survey. Thus the use of this procedure holds high advantages in respect to the chosen research area or topic. The use of this sampling can help in choosing random samples from a larger population size thereby enhancing the specific precision and accuracy of the gathered information for better and more precise analysis so that reliable outcomes can be obtained from the analysis. In addition, the employment of the simple random sampling will also offer each of the individuals belonging to the population of having equal opportunities for getting selected for the research survey. Therefore simple random sampling method will be used to sample a number of 50 respondents for the initiation of the questionnaire survey. These respondents will be the staff or employees working in the organization of Woolworths, Australia.
Necessary methods will be taken to make the research highly reliable and valid in nature. In this context, the overall respondents will be carefully sampled so that accurate and authentic information and data can be gathered or collected (Panneerselvam, 2014). In order to main the validity of the research survey, the questionnaire will be tested by conducting a pilot study prior to the initiation of the actual survey. In addition, the mathematical analysis of the gathered data and information will also be conducted accurately and with higher precaution, so that valid and reliable research results and outcomes can be obtained or attained.
The information and data hereby gathered or collected from the questionnaire surveys will be analyzed by following a quantitative approach. In this context, mathematical and statistical analysis will be performed. For this purpose, extensive use of Microsoft Excel will be done. The results and outcomes thereby obtained or gathered will be then represented in the form of graphs and charts for accurate representation and understanding of the undertaken research area.
The key limitations or barriers that are expected to be faced during the undertaking of the research study can be briefly identified as below;
The overall timeline of the research has been explained as below;
|Duration of Activities|
|Activities Undertaken||1st Week||2ndWeek||3rd Week||4th Week||5th Week||6th Week||7th Week||8th Week|
|2. Review of Literature|
|3. Research Design and Methodology|
|4. Data Analysis|
|5. Conclusion and Recommendations|
The undertaken research on the analysis of the challenges and opportunities related to the use of social electronic commerce will effectively highlight the overall use and significance of electronic commerce in relation to the present-day business environment (Williams, 2011). In this context, the research is expected to analyze in detail the overall requirements or trends that must be acquired by a respective business for the purpose of successfully implementing and making the optimum use of the e-commerce platform. In addition, the key major challenges in the context of successful use and implementation of the e-commerce platform will also be analyzed in the undertaken research activity.
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