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Social commerce research: Definition, research themes and the trends

Lin, X., Li, Y. and Wang, X. (2016) Social commerce research: Definition, research themes and the trends. International Journal of Information Management . In Press.

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Social commerce, an emerging phenomenon rooted in social media and Web 2.0 technologies, has attracted the attention of many researchers. The number of publications on social commerce has grown exponentially in the past 10 years. Now, social commerce has become a significant emerging research area. In this paper, we first define the boundary of social commerce research and then attempt to review the extant literature in this area comprehensively and systematically. Based on the definition, this study surveyed 1369 peer-reviewed academic publications in the social media, Web 2.0, and other related areas. Following the survey, 418 of the publications were identified as social commerce research. Then, latent semantic analysis (LSA), a text mining approach, was applied to summarize the current state of social commerce research. LSA results show that there are three major research themes in the current social commerce research: organization, advertisement, and word-of-mouth. Each theme discusses topics such as innovation, user-generated content, and reputation, among others. In addition, we identify some interesting trends. The first main trend is that innovation, corporate reputation, and user-generated content remain the major research topics, although they are experiencing a slight decline. The second main trend is that online reviews, trust, and e-word-of-mouth are attracting more attention from researchers.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
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