Online social networks and fashion shopping: a study of the influence of social networks on shopping decisions made by consumers in the fashion market

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: The emergence of online social networks as the main communication channel between users in the web has created a plethora of opportunities and challenges for companies. While firms can potentially reach and advertise to a targeted audience at a low cost, the communication model between firms and consumers appears to be in need to adaptation due to the unique circumstances of social networks and the behavior of its consumers.In order to this, it is essential to first understand how consumers exchange product information between them and how they are influenced by it. To investigate this, surveys among fashion users and interviews with executives from fashion firms have been performed.212 fashion users were surveyed in order to determine their behavior in the search, use and exchange of product information in a social network environment, and shopping behavior after the process of collecting information. In addition, executives from 3 fashion companies were interviewed to understand company interaction with customers through social networks and gain a more complete picture of the phenomenon.The main variables analyzed were the degree to which respondents contacts share product information, the degree to which respondents are willing to share information, the level of interest in product information from a respondent's network, and the degree to which consumers are influenced by network provided information.From the regressions and interviews it can be concluded that the availability of fashion product information in social networks triggers information exchange between users, and that network provided information is highly influential and plays a powerful role in shopping decision making.

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