The influence of social media on consumers during their purchase decision-making process and the implications for marketer
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MA in Business Studies
Dublin Business School
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Over the past decade a new form of media has arisen which due to its social features seem to have a great power of influence on consumers’ purchasing decision-making process. Today, more and more consumers use Social Media to communicate together but also to communicate with brands. This new interaction is of interests for marketing professionals. The study aims to explain how the influence of Social Media is reflected on consumers’ purchasing decision-making process and if this influence differs at the various stages of this process. A questionnaire (quantitative data) and two semi-structured interviews (qualitative data) were the data collection instruments used for this research. The study finds that the influence of Social Media differs according to the various stages of the consumers’ purchasing decision making-process. Thereby, the more the consumer progresses through the stages the more the influence of Social Media is diminished. Other findings explain that cultural background such as nationalities makes Social Media influence more or less strong according to the different stages of the consumers’ purchasing decisionmaking process. The study also highlights implications for Marketers that have the opportunities to seize the power of influence of Social Media. To conclude, these findings indicate directions for futures researches to investigate the impact of characteristics, such as cultural background, demographics features and differences in usage, on the influence of Social Media that might affect consumers’ purchasing decisionmaking process.