In the era of Web 2.0, social networking sites play an important role in generating online information. People create billions of shares such as web pages or videos with friends on these sites every month. The share on the social networking site is visible to all of her or his friends and could be clicked by them and generates traffic back to the website where the information is from. In order to benefit from the social media traffic, e-commerce websites facilitate consumers with many sharing channels on web pages. With the intention of motivating consumers to share, some e-commerce websites such as group-buying websites offer referral reward. In this study, we explore consumers’ social sharing behaviour on e-commerce websites. We are going to test whether consumers like to share e-commerce information such as products, discounts or coupons on social networking websites or traditional point-to-point communication media such as email or instant messengers and whether referral reward and its information visibility affects consumers’ sharing behaviour. Focus group interviews are conducted and 2x2 between-subject laboratory experiment will be carried out to test our hypotheses and preliminary findings from focus group interviews.


Social sharing, Social network sites, Instant Messenger, Social tie, Crowding effect, Information disclosure, Laboratory experiment


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Doctoral consortium paper