Consumer's decision to shop online: The moderating role of positive informational social influence

Matthew K.O. Lee*, Na Shi, Christy M K CHEUNG, Kai H. Lim, Choon Ling Sia

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    227 Citations (Scopus)


    While much of the current literature tends to focus on the direct effect of social influence on consumer online shopping behavior, our study drew heavily on social influence theory and argued for an alternative theory focusing on the moderating role of social influence. In particular, we explored how positive messages in online discussion forums may affect consumers' decisions to shop online. We used a laboratory experiment in which the treatment group was required to read positive messages about online shopping experience in an online discussion forum. Positive social influence was found to reinforce the relationship between beliefs about and attitude toward online shopping, as well as the relationship between attitude and intention to shop. We believe our alternative theory provides new insight into the complex processes through which social influence is brought to bear on consumers' online shopping decisions. Implications of our work are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-191
    Number of pages7
    JournalInformation and Management
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Management Information Systems
    • Information Systems
    • Information Systems and Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Attitude
    • Behavioral intention
    • Belief
    • Electronic commerce
    • Electronic word of mouth (eWOM)
    • Informational social influence
    • Online discussion forum
    • Online shopping
    • Web 2.0


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