An Exploration of the Sustainability and Value of New Professions Created By Mcommerce and Scommerce
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The growing popularity of social commerce (sCommerce) and the recent advances in mobile technology have led to the emergence of the new professions of vlogging, blogging and virtual pop-up store owning, which initially started out as hobbies. The services provided by these new professions have become ubiquitous and are being leveraged by customers from all vocations. Little has been investigated of these professions, how they operate, how they generate revenue for themselves and what they contribute to society. Moreover, the prevalence of vlogs, blogs and virtual pop-up stores and the customer/audience interest they generate have been extensively reported on in the popular media as well as the news. It was thus considered a topic of interest to investigate how the new professionals create and provide value to society as well as the new professionals’ intended audience/customers’ perceptions about their services’ value and sustainability. The study was undertaken in two parts, the first of which included interviews with new professionals from each field in order to gain their perspective regarding establishing their respective professions and creating value. The outcomes of the qualitative data analysis indicated that not only did the new professionals create value on their own, but that they also co-created value with their customers, peers and some existing, traditionally established professions. The second part of the study involved gaining the perspective of the new professionals’ intended audience/customers. A survey questionnaire was published online. The questionnaire was based on the UTAUT2 (the extended unified theory of acceptance of uniform technology) and was informed by the findings of the first part of the study. The survey data results were quantitatively analysed. The findings indicated that customers had a positive perception of the future sustainability of the new professions. It was also found that that customers’ intention to use blogging, vlogging and pop-up store owning services in the future may have been predicted by the behavioural characteristics of hedonic motivation and habit. Additionally, the continual intention to buy products from pop-up stores in future was also affected by price value. The research contributes to the body of knowledge by investigating empirically the value creation and co-creation processes in a context that is yet to attract academic interest. The study also proposes a novel value creation and co-creation framework that draws on the main players’ roles and their interactions.