Social Electronic Commerce

Prepare a research report on "Opportunities and Problems of Social Electronic Commerce".


Electronic commerce generally refers to the commercial transactions of selling and buying products from different stakeholders such as government, marketers, service providers and manufacturers. Social e-commerce also helps in the facilitation of online products and services through advertisements and demonstrations of the products. The businessmen and the lawyers also use social electronic commerce as alternate channels in offering their products and services to their potential clients. From the viewpoint of the customers, it is considered to be an enticing channel that is available for online transactions. E-commerce has made it easier to carry out payment options such as direct online transfer, credit cards, debit cards in a much easier way. E-commerce has been growing fivefold times in the last four years in different countries and India can be sighted as an important example in this case. Digital downloads and E-tailing processes are expected to grow at a much faster rate and thus gain leadership in the market (Mata & Quesada, 2014). This paper will highlight different literatures from important journals on the problems and opportunities of social electronic commerce. It will also highlight the methodologies, research problem and research gap in highlighting the problems and objectives of social electronic commerce.

Project Objective

Social media is considered to be a sophisticated and contemporary successor of other forms of advertising such as word-of-mouth. This social network helps in exchanging the views, expressing the dissatisfaction, share experiences in a quick span of time.  There have been different marketing efforts on various social media sites and this is helping the companies in analysing the social behaviour of the customers. There are also several complex problems that are creating challenges among the customers and thus it is challenging to remove the problems and deal with them in an effective way.

Project Scope

There are many usage of social e-commerce and it has helped in carrying out transaction process in a smooth way. These benefits can be considered as business myriad for the particular brands. It helps in increasing the sales and driving traffic to increase website traffic and also customer engagement. Moreover, the engagement of social media also leads to direct transaction processes and thus increase the traffic of particular website. It also helps in sharing the link of the website and thus acts as an excellent way in driving the traffic.

Summary of Literature Review

Collaborative projects helps in simultaneous and joint creation of different types of content by different types of users. This collaborative project helps in differentiation and it also allows adding or removing the different context based changes. The social bookmark application enables in linking to the internet and thus rating the different types of links or media contents. Blogs, on the other hand represents another type of social media content and this are displayed in stamp based entries in chronological order. This blogs are generally maintained by one person and it helps in the possibility of different types of interaction through the incorporation of comments. On the other hand, the content based community’s helps in sharing the media contexts between different users. The social networking site also enables the users to connect by creation of personal information and thus having access to public profiles. The social networking sites are of huge popularity among the users and the young people have become addicted to the social networking sites (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). 
According to Huang & Benyoucef (2013), social commerce is also attracting the researchers and there has been several studies that are carried out in this perspective. It includes multiple disciplines and thus there are different diversities of definitions in this aspect. Moreover, social commerce is also considered to be an online marketplace and it helps in leveraging the business ideas as well as the social media tools to support decision making process and thus it predicts customers buying behaviour.  There is more interactive and social approach that is common among the followers of social media. The customers and the users can express themselves and thus share the required information through the social media websites. Service quality is considered to be critical and important aspect of social media websites and thus it needs to be accurate as well as comprehensive to cover different types of messages. 
Liang et al.(2011) has stated that there must be social support in the social networking sites and this is considered important for the community members to share different types of information. Sharing frequent information increases the intention and the bonding to conduct different types of commercial activities and thus it helps in bringing warmth and understanding among the people. It can be said that social support is considered to be multi-dimensional construct and thus it components differ from one context to another. The social members share different types of commercial information and thus give further recommendations for different types of supportive information. The influence of e-commerce websites for different types of commercial activities is also important and its success depends on the quality of websites. The commercial benefits can be increased through different types of transaction processes and thus it is advantageous for carrying out different types of transactions. Social e-commerce also helps in relationship marketing and thus this affects customer loyalty. There must be proper relationship between the customers and the service providers and thus it helps in strengthening better relationships among them. 
According to Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga (2010), there is a need for implementation of social media via different approaches. Social media can gain a public profile with relatively low initial cost and thus this is possible with the cloud based application process. It does not require implementation of better quality implementation processes and thus important decisions must be made for different platforms and their deployment processes. The users or the customers who uses one single platform agree to use other platforms that will provide them further benefit and thus customers can make a good choice accordingly. Different organisations will prefer to use the social media sites because of organizational effectiveness and personnel system and processes. Moreover, the social media application must also be made readily accessible and thus it helps in attracting a large number of participants for developing social media initiatives. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the organisation to take all the explicit steps and thus create a viable community by defining the active participants. It will also help in community building and different initiatives taken by the social media websites will help in identifying the community and the users who wants to be involved in the entire process. People must also develop a sense of responsibility in the entire process and this will help in the community based exchanges with the other members. It will also help in the creation of different popular platforms and thus the organizations can attract more people on its page. 
Problems in Literature
The evidence that was collected from the literature has certain loopholes such as it was not easier to understand the strategies that are used in social e-commerce. The problems of social e-commerce were also not highlighted properly and more emphasis was given on the opportunity section only. The research papers have highlighted the different relationship campaigns and thus it has helped in understanding the relationship and intentions of the customers.  It has also failed to highlight how the e-commerce companies started capturing different types of data on social interaction among the customers in different websites. This will help in potential understanding and managing the relationship between the customers so as to improve better relationship and manage purchase decision process. Moreover, expect one paper the other literatures mentioned above has also failed to highlight the challenges in leveraging and measuring the different impact of social media in the decision making process. 
Gaps in Literature
The impact of influence of social websites in customer’s decision making process has not been highlighted in the paper. The purchasing decisions are influenced.

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Research Hypothesis

H0 (Null Hypothesis): Opportunities of social e-commerce among the people
H1 (Alternative Hypothesis): Challenges of social e-commerce among the people

Research Question

Primary Question
•    What are the challenges and opportunities of social e-commerce among the people?
Secondary Question
•    What are the techniques used by the social e-commerce websites to attract the customers?
•    Does social support in social networking sites affects the intentions of the users to use or discontinue the use the service?
•    Do relationship quality between the websites and the users lays impact on social support and loyalty of the customers?

Research Design and Methodology

This section will highlight the entire methodology that will be taken in order to conduct the research study. It will discuss the different aspects such as research design, research methodology, data collection and the different procedures and techniques of data analysis. Moreover, it will also take into consideration the mission and vision of the researcher to carry out the research process successfully. 
Research Philosophy 
The main objective of research philosophy is to help the researchers in understanding the vision, mission and the thought processes that will be beneficial in conducting the research. It is important to take into consideration that this philosophy will be based on ethics, principles and values and thus it must be in accordance with the research study (Gray,2013).  There are various types of research philosophies such as interpretivism, positivism, epistemology and realism. In this paper, the researcher will prefer to choose interpretivism and this depends on the analytical skills and capabilities of the researcher to interpret and understand the opportunities and the challenges of social e-commerce on the businesses as well as on the users.
Research approach  
Research approach basically refers to the particular line of direction that is taken by the researcher to choose the particular line of study. Generally, there are two types of research i.e. inductive and deductive. Broad(2014) has opined that deductive approach must begin with a hypothesis and there are some tests that must be carried out to test the hypothesis, emphasis and the different theories on the basis of causality. On the other hand according to Brannen (2009), it can be said that the process of inductive approach requires data collection, observation as well as other analytical tools and techniques that are considered important in carrying out the research successfully.  In this paper, the researcher will prefer to choose the deductive approach and this must be based on the established theories that are stated by other researcher. It is also the responsibility of the researcher to test the hypothesis and then prove it using different methods and approaches. On the other hand, qualitative study will be carried out in this paper as per the deductive approach that is chosen by the researcher (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015). 
Research purpose
Research purpose helps in reflecting the objectivity of the study processes. Generally, there are three types of research purpose i.e. exploratory, explanatory and analytical research approach (Flick, 2015). The researcher will try to apply explanatory research approach in this paper. This will be based on certain hypothesis and theories and thus it will be beneficial in analysing the casual relationship between the challenges and the opportunities of social e-commerce.
Data Collection
There are two types of data collection process i.e. primary and secondary. In this research paper, the researcher will try to use primary data collection and thus analyse the impact of social e-commerce. Primary data will be collected from the users of social e-commerce and also from the businessmen who are involved in the entire process of exchange and delivery of products and different types of gods to the customers.
Data analysis
Data will be analysed using SPSS version 20. Moreover, different types of correlation as well as regression co-efficient will also be used in carrying out the data analysis and thus finding out the impact, benefits as well as challenges of social e-commerce on the users as well as on the businessmen (Flick, 2015). This process of data analysis is considered important in carrying out the entire research and to check how social e-commerce will succeed in the long run. 
Ethical consideration
Ethical issues are considered mandatory to be followed in carrying out the survey process in a systematic way. This is necessary to ensure reliability and validity of the data that has been gathered. Moreover, it also ensures that the data collected is genuine and it can be used for commercial purpose only. It is the responsibility of the researcher to carry out the research process in such a way that no personal information of the respondents as well as the collector is reflected in the research paper. Moreover, careful considerations must also be made that the responses collected are not biased and they do not deviate from the results. The valuable information must also be kept confidential and secret. Therefore, proper referencing style must also be followed so as to ensure reliability and validity in the entire process (Gray, 2013).

Research Limitation

There are various important limitations of the research such as the researcher did not carry out the research taking into consideration the opportunities and the challenges of social e-commerce. It has also become difficult to understand the strategies that have been adopted by the researcher to understand the different concepts and tools that are applied by different researchers in different papers. The researcher has carried out standardized research and it has become difficult for the layman to understand the different concepts and tools that are used in the paper. This is considered to be important and thus the paper must be written in such a way so that it becomes easier to understand for every section of people in the society.

Time Schedule


Therefore, it can be said that social media has been trying to open a new business perspective in the field of research and other business opportunities. The relationship theory and the social support theory have played an important role in highlighting this aspect. On the other hand, the effect of website quality also plays an important role in this aspect and this is important to cope up with the intentions and continue using the social media service. There must be proper and valid intentions for conducting and promotion of social e-commerce and this must be backed by emotional as well as informational support. Therefore, it can be said that social support is considered to be vital in e-commerce and there must be proper supportive interactions among the different members who are engaged in the entire process and this will make them feel closer to one another. Moreover, online interactions must be facilitated properly with the information technology websites and thus it affects the interaction process directly.


Brannen, J. (2009) Prologue, mixed methods for novice researchers: reflections and themes, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), pp. 8-12.
Broad, C.D. (2014). Religion, philosophy and psychical research: selected essays. Routledge
Culnan, M. J., McHugh, P. J., & Zubillaga, J. I. (2010). How large US companies can use Twitter and other social media to gain business value. MIS Quarterly Executive, 9(4).
Eriksson, P. & Kovalainen, A. (2015). Qualitative methods in business research: A practical guide to social research. Sage.
Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage.
Gray, D.E. (2013). Doing research in the real world. Sage.
Huang, Z., & Benyoucef, M. (2013). From e-commerce to social commerce: A close look at design features. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(4), 246-259.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Liang, T. P., Ho, Y. T., Li, Y. W., & Turban, E. (2011). What drives social commerce: The role of social support and relationship quality. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 16(2), 69-90.
Mata, F. J., & Quesada, A. (2014). Web 2.0, social networks and e-commerce as marketing tools. Journal of theoretical and applied electronic commerce research, 9(1), 56-69.

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