Project Topics

THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR

THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background
of the Study

In
recent years the online environment is viewed by users from a new perspective,
in a commercial way. Its development and the emergence of online stores have
turned users into consumers. Also the most important role of social media has
changed the way consumers and marketers communicate. (Hennig-Thurau T., Gwinner K., Walsh G. & Gremler
D., 2004). Informational society influences affect
the consumer buying decision and product evaluations. Social media provides a
new channel to acquire product information through peer communication,
(Kozinets, 1999). However, with the aid of information and modern communication
technologies, consumers are able to shop via Internet using several Social
Media and different websites (Toomey and Wysocki, 2005). This type of shopping
mode can come in several names such as online shopping, online buying behavior
and Internet shopping. All names of shopping mode refer to the process of
purchasing and buying products or services via the Internet using several Social Media and different websites (Li and Zhang,
2002). Social Media (SM) are web-based services which are also known as
“Social Networking Sites”. Social Media (SM) refer to network of
relationships and interactions among different users (groups or individuals)
(Kempe & Chin, 2003). Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
enable users to maintain great connections among themselves as well with others
(Ellison & Kozinets, 2007) by achieving more than one task and facilitating
the way of communicating and sharing different information (comments, thoughts,
videos and images) (Kietzmann, 2011). Social Media is playing significant roles
in different aspects of our lives. What is interesting in SM is that it
supports users in several sectors, such as, business, marketing, advertising
and education (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2010). From business perspective,
businesses and buyers can interact directly by SM with each other, and thereby
find whatever products and services they are looking for (Parson, 2013).
Consumers today are progressively utilizing technology and particularly Social
Media as an effective tool in their online shopping process. This process can
be defined as is an electronic process that allows consumers to deal with
business people and meet their purchases’ needs. Pookulangara and Koesler (2011)
in their study of social media marketing indicated that SM enable 25% of all
consumers to post links about products and services information in their retail
sites to update other users about the purchase process.
Another study of Miller (2010) stated in his research of online marketing that
social marketing has made very important role in persuading consumers to buy
online. He found that 70% of consumers are visiting Social Media to get useful
information, 49% of them made the decision to buy certain product and 60% of
consumers prefer to share their information about the products with others
online. However, the actual transactions of purchasing processes occur for only
7% of consumers (Miller and Lammas, 2010). Online shopping is growing
everywhere and different categories of consumers are influenced by this
phenomenon. For instance, the percentage of online buyers is increasing in
India, China, Japan and Australia for about 87%, 85% (North Asia and Europe),
83% (North America), 81% (South and Latin America) and 53% (Africa and
Pakistan) (Solorzano, 2011). The overall online purchasing process has enabled
875 million consumers to boost the percentage of other online shoppers to 40%
in the recent two years due to the recommendations posted in different SM about
products.

1.2       Statement
of Problem

 

The introduction of the Internet has changed the way
organizations promote their products and services and products as well as the
channels of communication between them and their customers. This is seen in the
way they market and communicate their brands and products, which has become a
challenging project.

Customers are overwhelmed by marketing commercials
and promotional events. The sensitivity of customers to get excited is fading
out on promotional events and consumers are beginning to resist the effect of some
companies at marketing them.

Basically, the promotional focus of some
organizations is on the conventional mass media advert style, which includes
commercial TV, radio jingles and advertisements in print formats such as
newspapers and magazines along with billboard placements. It is now on record
that as the Internet is fast advancing across the global marketplace, the
effectiveness of traditional mass media is fast on the decline.

It is on this background that this study needs to be
carried out in order to determine the rate at which social media can contribute
to the sales of Toyota Brand of vehicles.

1.3              
Research Questions:

1.      How do consumers perceive online buying of
Toyota brand of vehicle?

2.      What are the factors that motivate
consumers to buy Toyota vehicles through social media?

3.      What are the changes social media has
brought to consumers of Toyota Brand of vehicles in different stages of their
decision making?

1.4              
Objectives of the Study

The
research aims to determine the impact of social media on consumer buying behavior
to Toyota brand of vehicle. The study specifically, determine to:

1.                
Examine consumers’
perception towards buying of Toyota brand of

vehicle online.

2.                
Examine the factors that
motivate consumers to buy Toyota brand of

vehicle through social media.

3.                
Examine how much social
media has affected consumers’ buying

Behavior of Toyota brand of vehicle.

1.5    Statement of Hypotheses:

The hypotheses could simply state below to
help us accept or reject our

finding.

1.      H0:
 
Customers
have negative perception towards online shopping

of Toyota brand of vehicle.

H1:
   Customers have positive perception
towards online shopping of

Toyota brand of vehicle.

2       H0:    Social media has not significantly influenced
the different

stages of consumer decision
making on the purchase of Toyota Brand of vehicles

H1:
   Social media has not significantly
influenced the different

stages of consumer decision
making on the purchase of Toyota Brand of vehicles

 

1.6    Significance of the Study

It
has been suggested by the researchers that the consumers look for information
assisting them in deciding the relative significance of the several appraising
criteria, and might further seek concepts regarding the degree to which they alternate features that they consider significant.
Online consumers in the past were confined to sharing information with their
neighbors, family or friends; however, now people are able to impact the
international community by articulating their personal experiences on the
Internet. In accordance with the relevant researches, the external resources
may be either online or offline (Breiger, 2004). Many sources of external
search include; interpersonal search and media search. Interpersonals are powered
by social software and Web 2.0 tools that support social behavior to create and
recreate social conventions and social contexts. The Internet allows consumers
to interact, compare experiences, and exchange ideas with other consumers.

1.7
   Scope and Limitation of the Research

The scope of this study will focus on the impact of
social media platform on consumer buying behavior with particular reference to
Toyota brand of vehicles in Akwa Ibom State.

1.8    Limitation of the Study

This
study is limited by some factors that are likely to be encountered during the
course of carrying out the research. These are:

1.      Time
Constraints
: The short duration for the project research and the
interference of other academic work will affect the timely conclusion of the
work.

2.      Financial
Constraint
: Being a student, the researcher has little means of earning
and so finance needed to travel to places to acquire data for the research work
will be difficult to get, however, the researcher intends to try her possible
best to acquire the finances needed for the project to be carried out.

1.9
Definition of Terms

Consumer
Buying Behavior

This
refers to the multi-step decision-making process people engage in and the
actions they take to satisfy their needs and wants in the marketplace (Kotler,
2008).

Consumer
Behaviour

Schiffinan
and Kanuk (2004) define Consumer Behaviour as the behaviour that customers
display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of
products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs. Consumer
buying behaviour incorporates the acts of individuals directly involved in
obtaining, using and disposing of economic goods and services

including
the decision process that precede and determine these acts (Huctings 1995).

Consumer
Decision Making

Mahatoo
(1985) defines Consumer Behavior decision making process as consisting of a
number of steps that begin before the purchase and reaches beyond the buying
act. He suggests that marketers have to go beyond the various influences on
buyers and develop an understanding of how consumers actually make their buying
decisions.

Economic
Factors

Economic Factor is the set of fundamental information that
affects a business or an investment’s value
and a buyer’s spending behaviour.  According
to Brassington (2011), economic factors include among others; the level of
income, credit availability, attitude towards spending, liquid assets.

Socio
Cultural Factors

Social
cultural factors include a number of factors that characterize the
relationships and activities of a group of people within a particular set
environment (Jones, 2007).