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Identifying the Success Factors of Online Sales of Sports Products and Services in Social Media
|Archives in Sport Management and Leadership|
|دوره 1، شماره 1، مهر 2023، صفحه 132-140 اصل مقاله (343.13 K)|
|نوع مقاله: Original|
|شناسه دیجیتال (DOI): 10.22108/jhs.2023.137349.1019|
|Hamidreza Sadeghi* ؛ Ghodrat Allah Bagheri Ragheb|
|College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.|
|This research was conducted with the aim of identifying and ranking the success factors of online sales of sports products and services on Instagram. The statistical population in this research included experts, professors and researchers in the field of media and marketing in the qualitative part and in the quantitative part it included experts in the field of media, marketing, internet business owners, sellers, service providers and online customers. In the qualitative part, the snowball sampling method was used and theoretical saturation was achieved with 13 interviews, and in the quantitative part, 130 people were indicated by using the Cochran formula. For this purpose, using a hybrid approach, first by using a library study and in-depth interview to identify the components, and then by using a researcher-made questionnaire from the components identified in the previous stage and conducting a survey. The findings have shown that the six components of confidence, ease of use, responsiveness, quality of information, quality of the page and promotion are effective in this matter. Among these components, the quality of the Instagram page, the quality of information and promotion are considered to be the most important factors in the success of online sales of sports products and services on media. It seems that the use of blind factors and research findings can have a special effect in improving online sales of sports products and services.|
|Instagram؛ Online sales؛ Sports products and services؛ Social media|
In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in the use of social media (Young, Kolubinski & Frings, 2020) that the development of the Internet has led to the growth and expansion of advertising in these new media, also strongly in the focus of active companies and stores (Lou & Yuan, 2019). Today, technological advances such as the Internet have created new forms of business models (Niemimaa et al., 2019) where the use of social media is one of the low-cost tools used in many businesses (Hassan, Nadzim & Shiratuddin, 2014). The increasing use of social networks has led to the emergence of a field of digital marketing called social network marketing, which uses social media platforms and websites to promote and advertise services and products (Buzeta, De Pelsmacker & Dens, 2020).
Social networks in Iranian society have many users. The use of sharing photos, videos and live broadcasts, as well as following the pages of different users around the world and interacting with them, are among the services that these social networks provide to their users for free (Moslehi & Salimi, 2022). These networks are webpages where people can make friends, discuss and exchange opinions, share pictures and movies they like and get the opportunity to tag about their interests and demands (Amoozadeh et al., 2020). Comment. Social networks in Iranian society have countless users. The use of sharing photos, videos and live broadcasts, as well as following the pages of different users around the world and interacting with them, are among the services that these social networks provide to their users for free. These networks are pages where people can make friends, discuss and exchange opinions, share pictures and movies they like and get the opportunity to tag about their interests and demands. The statistics show that Instagram has been growing in popularity in recent years, and from this point of view, it has surpassed many similar social networks (Razipour, 2018). The global users of smartphone applications in 2020 are reported to be around 96.3 billion users, which is approximately equal to 51% of the world's population (Kemp, 2020). Also, at the beginning of 2020, more than 100 million photos are uploaded daily all over the world only on the Instagram social network, and the number of these users has crossed the border of one billion user accounts and 25 million active business accounts (Aslan, 2020).
The statistics show that Instagram has been growing in popularity in recent years, and from this point of view, it has surpassed many similar social networks (Razipour, 2018). The global users of smartphone applications in 2020 are reported to be around 96.3 billion users, which is approximately equal to 51% of the world's population (Kemp, 2020). Also, at the beginning of 2020, more than 100 million photos are uploaded daily all over the world only on the Instagram social network, and the number of these users has crossed the border of one billion user accounts and 25 million active business accounts (Aslan, 2020). Over time, social networks have developed new and exciting features that can be used to attract target markets, for example, reels, sharing stories, messenger, video, shopping (Armayani et al., 2021).
Online shopping is a growing phenomenon that has many advantages such as saving time, 24-hour access from anywhere, variety of products and the possibility of comparing different products and brands, as well as the increasing growth of e-commerce, the main characteristic of the growth of mobile customer behavior. But besides these advantages, the consumer feels the risk of various factors, including the financial loss of the appearance and quality of the product, the risk of shipping and delivery, as well as psychological factors such as the reliability and security of the network and network design (Salimi, Soltan Hosseini & Naderian Jahromi., 2015). Also, several factors affect the level of sales, including: selling price, products (goods or services) offered, designed advertisements, distribution channels and quality. The existence of social networks, one of which can be used as an intermediary for sellers and buyers to meet online (Armayani et al., 2021).
Sports products are very wide and accordingly, the marketing of sports products is done in different ways with the expansion of the Internet and the increasing importance of e-commerce and the development of online stores in the form of websites, Instagram pages, and applications. Customers who are interested in buying from virtual and electronic space have a different desire than traditional shopping customers (Benesbordi & Nazari Tarshizi, 2019).
It seems that the lack of comprehensive research regarding the effective factors of online sales in sports products and sports services has led to the concern of paying attention to this issue in the field of sports today; On the other hand, this gap has caused operational solutions to improve and sell sports products online. This is despite the fact that online sales at the global level have taken a huge part of the sales of sports products and services on websites and social media, but in Iran this issue has not been followed seriously and the criteria and factors that It has not been properly identified in the success of selling products and providing sports services on virtual pages and Instagram. According to the mentioned cases, the present research was carried out with the aim of identifying the success factors of online sales of sports products and services in social media.
The research method in the current study is considered to be a type of survey research in terms of mixed data (qualitative and quantitative), in terms of applied purpose, in terms of descriptive and exploratory type, and in terms of data collection. In the current research, with library studies and searching in authoritative scientific articles and sources and analysis of the theoretical foundations of the research as well as in-depth interviews with professors, the factors affecting the success of online sales of sports products and services in social media were extracted and finally the research questionnaire in the form of 6 “the components of reliability, ease of use, information quality, page quality, responsiveness and promotion” and 37 indicators were collected and organized. In the next step, the Delphi technique was used for theoretical consensus about the discovered components and indicators, which finally confirmed the research questionnaire. Finally, out of 130 questionnaires distributed in person and online, 102 questionnaires were returned and analyzed. The validity of the content and form of the questionnaire designed by prominent professors was confirmed, and also to measure the reliability of the questionnaire, this questionnaire was given to a small sample (25 people) of the sample people. After collecting the questionnaire, the Cronbach's alpha coefficient was equal to 0.81 and reliability was achieved.
The population and the statistical sample of the present study were defined in two parts, qualitative and quantitative. The statistical population included experts, professors and researchers in the field of media and marketing in the qualitative part and experts in the field of media, marketing, internet business owners, sellers, service providers and online customers in the quantitative part. In the qualitative part, the snowball sampling method was used and theoretical saturation was achieved with 13 interviews, and in the quantitative part, using the Cochran sampling method, 130 questionnaires were distributed, of which 102 questionnaires were finally the basis of the research in this part. Table (1) shows the demographic characteristics of the sample group in the qualitative section.
Table 1- Demographic characteristics of interviewees in the qualitative section
According to the predetermined objectives of the research, after identifying the indicators and success factors of online sales of sports products and services in social media and confirming the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, and after performing a confirmatory factor analysis on the data as a result, Friedman's test was used to prioritize factors and components. SPSS and AMOS software were used to analyze the data.
In this section, in order to determine the effective factors in the success of online sales of sports products and services in social media, first by using the content analysis of in-depth interviews with experts and library studies, the set of effective factors in this field were extracted in Table (2).
Table 2- Identified themes to determine the effective factors in the success of online sales of sports products and services in social media
According to table (2), it is clear that the set of factors affecting the research topic includes reliability, ease of use, information quality, page quality, responsiveness and promotion.
Figure 1. Structural equation model of success factors of online sales of sports products and services in social media (factors)
As can be seen, Figure 1, which specifies the factor loadings, all have factor loadings greater than 0.5 in the observed and latent variables, and as a result, all variables and factors remain in the model. The t statistic in each variable shows that considering that all values are higher than 1.96, their presence in the model is significant. Table (3) shows the estimation of the values of the generality evaluation indicators of the structural equation model.
Table 3- Estimating the values of the evaluation indicators of the structural equation model
The overall evaluation indices of the structural equation model indicate that the hypothesized model developed by the research data is supported, in other words, the fit of the data to the established model and the fit indices indicate the desirability of the structural equation model.
Table 4- Estimating the effect of success factors of online sales of sports products and services in social media
According to table (4), all the components have a factor load greater than 0.5 and the appropriate standard deviation, t values are greater than 1.96 and the significance level is less than 0.05, and as a result, considering that the fit of the model is also suitable (according to table (5)), therefore, the model is suitable.
Table 5- The amount of coefficient of determination
According to table (5), all the coefficient of determination values are close to 0.5 and greater than that. This means that all these components have a proper relationship to determine the factors affecting the success of online sales of sports products and services in social media. In other words, in the defined model, reliability can be up to 74%, ease of use up to 86%, responsiveness up to 87%, information quality up to 86%, page quality up to 87% and promotion up to 50%.
Now, according to the identified main factors, in this part, they are prioritized over each other using Friedman's test. Table (6) shows the Friedman test related to the main factors.
Table 6- Friedman's test for ranking the main factors
As can be seen, the significance value is less than 0.05, and as a result, the null hypothesis is rejected, and therefore the indicators have priority over each other. Table (7) shows the ranks of each.
Table 7- Ranking of the main factors
Based on table (7), as can be seen, the most important main factors in the success of online sales of sports products and services in social media are page quality, ease of use, and promotion, respectively. Responsiveness and reliability are of lower importance in the eyes of users.
The purpose of this research was to identify success factors in online sales of sports products and services in social media. The first factor discovered is security. In this secure component, there are specifics including the uncertainty of the customer's internet information, not sharing the customer's personal information with other virtual networks, entering the network page with a password, providing an electronic certificate to confirm the features of the security network (regarding the security of the payment transaction) and (from customer credit card information), The level of continuous activity of the pages depends on the satisfaction and confidence of customers, commitment and honesty in the quality and equality of photos and films (sports goods or services) with the original quality and assurance of the price provided and the type of product on the page (sports goods or services) with the price of the quality or services are available in the market. This component is consistent with the research of Safaie and AtefYekta (2019) in terms of the amount of continuous activity.
The second component is ease of use, which includes elements such as: ease of access to different parts of the company's page (organization or store), ease of direct communication between the administrator (responsible) and customers in case of problems, ease of creating a special page (store) or organization) on the media, the ease of creating through a story (store or organization) on the media and the ease of sending the product after ordering the product from the page until the individual accesses the product. This component is also emphasized in the research of Esmailpour and Kabiri Fard (2018) and in this sense it is in line with the related research.
The third component is the quality of information, which includes subcomponents such as: categorizing items in an orderly and orderly manner (easy to find what you are looking for), support through admin and support pages from the media page, the presence of comments and suggestions section and viewing Comments from previous customers, new posts by customers about (new and customer-favored products or services), correct operation of the page (store or organization) from a technical point of view (the page is not cluttered and is regular with the program), providing fast services and handling customer orders and the speed and accuracy of uploading posts and stories. This component is mentioned in the research of Carlson, (2018) under the title of content quality of the page, and from this point of view, it is in line with this research. Also, the research of Jung et al. (2018) and Ashley and Tuten (2015) is consistent with this research from the point of view that entertainment and differentiation can be created by providing appropriate content.
The fourth component is the quality of the page, which includes these items: the attractiveness and up-to-datedness of the appearance and coloring of posts and stories in a one-hand format, the clarity of graphic forms (emoji) and writings (captions) on the media page (use of hashtags and suitable caption), the effect of the brand name of the page on the decision to buy or provide services, the view of the page (store or organization), the number of followers (without fake and real) of the page on the decision to buy or provide services, the number of famous people (celebrities) following the page media in buying or providing services, The number of followers of a page follower in buying or providing services, the number of likes of a page follower in buying or providing services and the effect of the number of comments of a page follower in buying or providing services. In terms of hedonic value, the present research is consistent with the research of Carlson (2018). It should be noted that the quality of the page is important in the ranking of the main components. This case has been emphasized in the research of Safaie and AtefYekta (2018) and the quality of information and promotion are ranked second and third.
The fifth component is accountability. This component consists of elements such as: sufficient knowledge of the page administrator (administrator) to answer, help, guide and solve the problems of customers using the page services, the existence of an administrator (administrator) who understands the customer's needs, the constant readiness and willingness of the page administrator (Admin) in helping the customer, the polite behavior of the operator (admin) in case of problems, requests and dissatisfaction with the services of the page (sales or service provision), The speed of online response and performance of tasks by the operator (admin) in the field of purchase and support and issues related to after-sales services of equipment or service provision is speed and power. This component is consistent with the researches of Esmailpour and Kabiri Fard (2018) in terms of appropriate interaction, Carlson (2018) in terms of interaction and Jung et al. (2018) in terms of sociality.
The sixth component is promotion, which includes advertising through (story and mentioning the name of the page) by other popular pages (celebrities) and media advertising (film loop and sales link in the story). This result is consistent with the research of Ashley and Toten (2015) due to the consideration of the audience.
Based on the findings of the research, the following suggestions can be made:
The results of the research are in order to improve the sales situation of Instagram products through marketing, it is necessary to ensure the results in terms of product coordination, price and recognition in the market and are presented in a development plan to promote and advertise them.
It is recommended that the pages with customers are answered regularly by the admin online and through direct, so that they have easier access.
It is recommended to introduce new posts regularly and daily to provide services and to introduce products using short-term rails.
To promote the posts by using advertisement and sending them as a private message to the contacts. Followers are also asked to cooperate in promoting it so that the posts get more views.
It is suggested to use different channels in order to respond better and speed up this issue. In this work, use commonly used applications and contact numbers in this process.
Famous pages with real followers should be used for advertising and promotion. Also, celebrities and influencers should be used to prepare short films and advertisements.
We are also grateful to everyone who helped us in conducting this research.
Conflicts of Interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
In the following, Figure (1) shows the structural equation model of the success factors of online sales of sports products and services in social media based on factor loadings.
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