An investigation of the use of social media for e-commerce amongst small businesses in Saudi Arabia

Helal, M 2017, An investigation of the use of social media for e-commerce amongst small businesses in Saudi Arabia , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

While the literature on e-commerce in Saudi Arabia covers the limitations of its adoption in the country, it does not identify and discuss the business phenomenon witnessed in recent times in Saudi Arabia. As businesses around the world have taken advantage of the power of social media by adopting the best strategies to incorporate it into their business models, small businesses in Saudi Arabia have been using social media platforms to conduct most of their e-commerce activities. This research contributes to knowledge by exploring a new business phenomenon that investigates the use of social media to overcome the limitations of e-commerce amongst small businesses in Saudi Arabia. The research adopts a qualitative, interpretive philosophical perspective using a multiple case study strategy. Using four small businesses in Saudi Arabia to investigate the phenomenon, it was found that traditional e-commerce has many inhibiters constraining its adoption and diffusion in Saudi Arabia. It was also found that social media provided these small businesses with many social commerce benefits that contributed in overcoming most of the e-commerce inhibiters. Such benefits enabled small business to build trustworthy relationships with customers that proved to be the key factor for the success of the social media shopping phenomenon. In addition, it was found that customers perceived the use of social media platforms for purchasing purposes as a more enjoyable and social alternative to traditional e-commerce. Through the lens of Social Capital Theory, the findings were analysed and a conceptual model was developed, ‘The SC-SC Model’. The conceptual model illustrates the impact of social capital on social commerce for small businesses in Saudi Arabia that used social media as their trading platform. The model suggests that there is a direct relationship between social capital, word of mouth and trust in the context of small businesses in Saudi Arabia. The concept is capable of providing small businesses in Saudi Arabia with an understanding of the importance of the relationship between word of mouth, trust and social capital. This research also contributes to knowledge by developing a methodological technique for extracting data from online social media platforms. Such technique would be beneficial to researchers that wish to examine and study social media platforms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Depositing User: M Helal
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 15:42
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 15:42
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42451

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