Personalised social media advertising and its influence on online purchase intentions: a South African outlook.

Lutchman, Shanice S.S.
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Digital, social media and eCommerce are on the rise with daily rapid changes, even more so with the impact of COVID-19. Due to this evolution, consumer behaviour has advanced. Consumers are seen as digitally savvy, informed and seek value from engagements with businesses. From a market perspective, social media has historically served as a platform to assist businesses to engage with consumers. However, this has proven less effective in recent times. An antecedent of bridging this gap is personalisation. Within the current literature, there is limited knowledge on the relationship between the themes of personalisation, social media and online purchase, especially focused on the South African market. This study sought to bridge the above-identified gaps from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. The main objective of this study aimed to highlight the significant influence personalised social media adverts have on online purchase intentions. The major finding from this study was that personalised social media advertising does indeed influence online purchase intentions of South Africans. The next key findings from this study identified all four social media platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram) to have a significant influence on online clothing purchase intention through a personalised advert as it was perceived as of relevance and value. Lastly, Instagram was found to have had the strongest influence out of the four social media channels on online purchase intentions. Therefore, the implications for businesses and marketers alike should be looking at personalised social media strategies to drive online purchase intention, especially through the social media platform Instagram.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Strategic Marketing to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, 2022