Consumer-to-consumer influence on attitude towards, and intention to buy South Korean food: an Instagram study.
Ramjathan, Shéfali Rokush.
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Background – With the emergence of the internet and the introduction of social networking services, opportunities for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) communication have expanded exponentially. Virtual communities enable consumers to access and exchange information with each other, independent of companies, allowing consumers to influence each other’s attitudes and behaviours. Instagram, a free photo and video sharing mobile application, is a platform with great potential and growth and has caught the attention of marketers seeking to understand and use C2C influence. With the increase of user-generated content (UGC), interest has shifted onto consumers and what factors influence them in a C2C context. Purpose – The purpose of this research was to investigate the factors of Source Credibility, Tie Strength, Informational Quality and Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence (CSII) in the C2C context of Instagram and their effect on consumers attitudes towards and intentions to purchase South Korean food. The contribution is for marketers to better understand C2C influence. Research Methodology/Approach – A quantitative approach involved an Instagram account called @shaynanigans_sk being specifically set up and images and videos of South Korean food consistently posted. Research data on the constructs in the conceptual framework was collected using an online survey, with a total of 163 Instagram followers who made up the final sample. Findings – The research found that Source Credibility and CSII significantly impact consumers’ attitudes towards South Korean food, and Informational Quality was found to significantly impact consumers’ purchase intentions towards South Korean food. Managerial implications – Marketing practitioners spend a significant amount of time determining the driving forces that influence consumer behaviour. The outcomes of this study confirmed that the relationships between Source Credibility, CSII, and Attitude; and Informational Quality and Intention were significant. These results emphasise the need for marketers using consumers in Influencer marketing strategies on Instagram to consider and pay attention to the chosen consumers’ credibility, their content quality, and the types of other consumers they target, as these factors will influence the success of Influencer marketing on this platform. Research limitations – Limitations and recommendations for future research are identified.