The growth of social commerce: How it is affected by users’ privacy concerns

Ibrahim Mutambik*, John Lee, Abdullah Almuqrin, Justin Zuopeng Zhang, Abdullah Homadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Over recent years, social commerce has evolved into a powerful segment of e-commerce, creating new opportunities for brands of all types and sizes. However, if social commerce is to continue to grow and deliver the many benefits it promises, it must address a number of key challenges, including privacy, trust, and ethical concerns. This paper explores the extent to which privacy issues affect the attitudes and behaviours of social media platform (SMP) users towards social commerce, and investigates whether these attitudes and behaviours are a function of cultural context. The approach adopted for the research is a two-stage method, which initially uses semi-structured interviews of social-commerce users to identify their key privacy concerns. These concerns are then used to develop, using the theory of reasoned action (TRA), a structural model that facilitates the formation of hypotheses which relate users’ attitudes to privacy to subsequent behaviour. This model is assessed by analysing the responses to a questionnaire from a large sample of participants. This allows us to evaluate the general accuracy of the model and to compare culturally distinct subgroups (Saudi vs. Chinese) using partial least-squares analysis. Results show good support for all of our hypotheses and indicate that there are clear cultural effects. One of these effects is the inadequacy of privacy policies implemented by SMP providers, regarding culturally specific ethical concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-743
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • behaviour
  • culture
  • e-commerce
  • privacy concerns
  • social commerce
  • social media


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