Social Commerce Research

Group-shopping sites are beginning to rise in popularity amongst eCommerce users. Yet we do not know how or why people are using such sites, and whether or not the design of group-shopping sites map to the real shopping needs of end users. To address this, we describe an interview study that investigates the friendship networks of people who participate in group-shopping sites (e.g., Groupon) with the goal of understanding how to best design for these experiences. Our results show that group-shopping sites are predominently used to support social activities; that is, users do not use them first and foremost to find ‘deals.’ Instead, group-shopping sites are used for planning group activities, extending and building friendships, and constructing one’s social identity. Based on these findings, we suggest improved social network integration and impression management tools to improve user experience within group-shopping sites.

Key Publications

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Hillman, S. (2014)
Social Issues, Behaviours and Routines of Ubi-Commerce Users in North America
PhD Dissertation, Simon Fraser University.

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Hillman, S., Neustaedter, C., Pang, C., and Oduor, E. (2013)
“Shared Joy is Double Joy”: The Social Practices of User Networks Within Group Shopping Sites
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Press, 10 pgs.
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Hillman, S. and Neustaedter, C. (2014)
Towards Ubiquitous Commerce: New Commerce, Behaviours & Routines
Workshop on Financial Interactions, Digital Cash, Capital Exchange and Mobile Money (#CHIMoney), held at the ACM CHI Conference (2014), 4 pgs.
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