With the rise of internet penetration and social media fast becoming one of the most popular online activities, the emergence of social commerce (SC) has become one of the most significant opportunities for marketers and brands. With more consumers using SC to purchase goods and services, socialise and seek information, it has become necessary for brands to understand those aspects within the SC environment and what attracts consumers to their brands. Leveraging those elements effectively will allow brands to remain appealing to their consumers and stay ahead of the competition. Brand awareness and brand engagement have long been used to drive purchase consideration, customer loyalty and innovation for business. However, little has been done to understand the levers that businesses can use to influence customer in the SC environment
The aim of the study is to understand which business levers are most effective in driving consumer engagement and brand awareness. This was done using the stimulus-organism-response (SOR) theory which mediates (organism) the relationship between the levers that businesses use (stimulus) and the resultant engagement and awareness of customers. A quantitative cross-sectional design was employed in the research study with users of SC as the unit of analysis. Data was collected via an online questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse data from 230 respondents who are users of SC.
The main findings of the research were that some of the levers employed in the SC environment are effective at influencing perceived customer value. Even more significant was the considerable relationship between customer value on brand awareness and brand engagement. The research indicated that the more a business could improve its value offering within the SC environment, the more likely they are to drive brand awareness and brand engagement. The practical implications of this are that to drive the awareness and engagement that mobilises competitiveness, marketers should utilise those levers that are most likely to increase customer value. It is also important to understand consumers in the market to optimise on the value drivers that are relevant for those customers. The main limitation of the research was the limited
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2020.