Consumers’ Buying Habits via Instagram: A study on Social Commerce

This research study is an investigation of consumers’ buying habits using the Instagram platform. As social media arises, new forms of technology are evolving, and people are shifting from traditional retailers and online commerce to what is called social commerce websites for their purchases. This research contributes to knowledge by exploring a new business phenomenon that has not been investigated yet and it is still not available for testing in the United Kingdom, as it examines the use of social media as a direct e-commerce site. The study adopted a qualitative research design and recruited fourteen participants that had previously involved with purchasing from the app. Consumers’ were interviewed about their shopping preferences and intentions to buy through the Instagram app, as also their future expectations on social commerce and traditional retail. The research arrived at several key findings using theories from an online consumer behaviour model and previous research that has been conducted regarding social media and electronic commerce. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the collected data; therefore, six main themes have emerged. The results have revealed a particular interest and positive behaviour towards buying directly from the app. Participants portrayed a great intention to use the app’s check out and they expressed their implementations on the relationship between word of mouth and trust in the context of social commerce. In addition, participants' expectations of future retailing showed an affirmative and a shifting behaviour towards social commerce and new retail technologies. The study was an attempt to investigate a concept that is capable of providing both consumers and businesses an understanding of the importance of the relationship between fashion and social media. This research also contributes to knowledge by exploring future retail technologies and can be beneficial for researchers that wish to examine and study social commerce. This project was part of the final thesis of my master's degree and the results portrayed a great interest in shopping through social commerce. Please contact me for full access to the results of the study.

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Fashion Psychologist Consultant