Most virtual community (VC) providers lack profitable business models. The challenge for VC providers is to generate and increase revenue from sources other than advertising. The sale of digital items (e.g., avatar) to VC members is a recent revenue generation method. This study examines how VC members decide to purchase digital items from the customer value perspective. Based on customer value theory, this study identifies six factors over three dimensions of customer value and examines their effects on VC members’ intention of purchasing digital items. Our finding suggests that the effect of value on members’ purchase intentions is significant in the functional (i.e., quality of digital items), social (i.e., social self-image), and emotional (i.e., playfulness) value dimensions. This study provides important implications for practitioners to understand how they can foster an ideal environment for customers to perceive more value in their digital items so that it would be more compelling to make purchases in a VC.
Kim, Hee-Woong; Koh, Joon; and Lee, Hyun Lyung, "INVESTGATING THE INTENTION OF PURCHASING DIGITAL ITEMS IN VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES" (2009). PACIS 2009 Proceedings. 18.