1.1 Background to the Study
Today, the ascent of social media is apparent and gives no indications for stopping. Social media has become a basic piece of the lives of individuals particularly the youth; they use it for social interaction and to keep connected with their families and friends. Likewise, they use it to keep refreshed about everything that they are keen on and to share information about goods and services that they show interest on. Notwithstanding, social media helped the young generation in making their own user generated contents about what they like and dislike and consequently it gives a space to users to communicate in a virtual network. Social media can be characterized as" a gathering of web-based applications that work with respect to the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that permit the creation and exchange of user generated content" (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). The advent of social media sites has changed the communication landscape. With the spread of these sites among consumers and the increase in the time they spend on surfing these sites given the extraordinary measure of social interaction that happens between them, the impact of these sites on affecting the consumers’ behaviour has likewise increased (Hutter et al., 2013).
These progressions have made advertisers begin receiving social media generally in their marketing activities. Organizations utilize social media for communicating with their present and imminent clients with the point of gathering useful marketing insights from them. Moreover, advertising through social media has become an important part of the integrated marketing communication efforts of organizations in advertising their products and services.
From the beginning of 21th century, the utilization of internet and social media has become a part of business procedures. Social media promotion of goods and services is the cutting edge instrument for marketing in 21st century (Nanji 2015). Practically numerous organizations utilizing social media marketing as the use of social media increased. With the transformation of web/IT, the method of doing business has greatly changed and it is important to firm to receive the new technology. Today, organizations are making use of internet/IT to market their products and these devices utilized by researchers, experts and policy makers (Gohary, 2012). Presently pretty much every individual has the access to internet.
Through smartphones they remain connected with various social networking sites (Facebook, tweeter, LinkedIn) on regular basis (Raad et al., 2010). Via social media user-generated content are delivered on regular routine as in the form of product reviews in client (Mathwick et al., 2008; Zhu and Zhang, 2010). Social networking sites take the focal stage in the present condition of e-commerce (Fue et al., 2009). The utilization of Social media for marketing upgraded the brand acceptance (de Vries et al., 2012). Social media gives the chance to clients to talk with buyer immediately (Christodoulides and Jevons, 2011; Christodoulides, 2009) and express their discernments with each other. Other marketing instruments like special promotion, TV commercial advertisements and door to door selling is costly for little firm because of modest amount of budget which use on human asset and time constraints. Along these lines, internet based life advertising is less exorbitant and efficient when contrasted with other marketing apparatuses (Makesh, 2013).
One of the businesses that generally embrace advertising in social media is the groceries stores or simply put supermarkets. That industry had seen a fast development in the previous years in Nigeria because of globalization impacts and social changes. These chains are amazingly well known among young generation consumers. Since the target market for supermarkets is the young generation and the acceptance of social media among them is extremely high, most supermarkets in Nigeria discovered social media sites as a decent open door for marketing and publicizing; they use it alongside other conventional advertising channels. These chains have fan pages via web-based social media sites like Facebook, twitter, Instagram WhatsApp with great many fans on these pages. Supermarkets utilize their fan pages to keep connected with their clients and fans and to market their products. Consistently, the moderators of these pages send broadcast messages on new products, new promotions and many other forms of content. At the point when a fan of a brand loves a specific post, a notification shows up on the newsfeed of his friends list helping in spreading the advertising message. Therefore, advertisers on these social networking sites are attempting to make their advertisements all the more captivating by posting intelligent and captivating contents. These advertising strategies make consumers progressively connected with the brands they like which can be a reason for new type of relationship marketing and customer brand commitment.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The sudden acceptance and evolution of social media networks across all countries of the world today has spurred many businesses to devising strategies in order to invite millions of active users of the networks to their product offerings usually on their own websites. Nigeria is not exempted of this growing phenomenon. Many firms in the country are now making effort to replicate those online dealings and transaction processes which their foreign counterparts practice. An example of this is Ali Baba the world’s largest online retailer, selling a broad range of retail products to customers at their doorsteps across many countries. In Nigeria, a good number of similar retailers such, as Konga, Jumia, Payporte etc. have now emerged and some are still up coming. They also offer a broad range of products in different categories ranging from fast foods, to pharmaceutical goods to agricultural produce and the likes in Nigeria only. Apart from the rising competition among the currently existing rivals, there seems to be a daunting tendency that Nigerians would never dare transact business via the internet with any unseen person who displays many attractive pictures of supermarkets tagged with prices and might not physically exist anywhere but prompting prospective buyers to pay upfront so that the goods would be delivered at their doorsteps anywhere in the country. This has always been a questionable issue as a result of the pervasive menaces of Yahoo-Yahoo internet frauds and has shaped the perception of many Nigerians toward being careful when dealing with internet based customers particularly when it comes to the aspect of supply of personal information. Meanwhile, many of the Nigerian supermarkets have provided sufficient rooms for any likely doubt about the authenticity of their transaction via the social media networks with any prospective customers by allowing them to pay for any product of their choice on delivery. These issues have been the problems impeding against the patronage tendencies of many Nigerians.
Available literatures (theoretical perspectives) provide that there could be a service quality gap usually in terms of the retailer’s understanding of what prospective customers want, how they want it, as well as how to cater for them satisfactorily since the beginning of the transaction through these growing social media network platforms is done without any physical contact between the retailer and prospective consumers. The retailers might lack the knowledge or understanding of what the prospective customers specifically wanted or preferred either as a result of the disillusion in the menu information and features they uploaded or as a result of not constantly updating information regarding the available product items.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study has both general objective and the specific objectives. The general objective of this study is to investigate the effect of social media on selected supermarkets performance. However, the specific objectives include:
i) To investigate the perceptions of the consumers toward social media and the performance of supermarkets.
ii) To identify the factors that are affecting the success of social media marketing strategy
iii) To understand the impacts of social media marketing on information search stage of consumer purchase decision on supermarkets
1.4 Research Questions
The followings are the research questions that this study will be based upon:
i) What are the perceptions of the consumers toward social media and the performance of supermarkets?
ii) What are the factors that are affecting the success of social media marketing strategy?
iii) What are the impacts of social media marketing on information search stage of consumer purchase decision on supermarkets?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses that will be tested for this study include:
i) There is no significant difference between perceptions of the consumers toward social media and the performance of supermarkets
ii) There is no significant correlation between social media marketing on information search stage and consumer purchase decision on supermarkets
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study examines the effect of social media on selected supermarkets performance. Nowadays basically the era of technology and almost every person in the country has easy access to the internet and social media websites. So, social media changes the perception of people globally. Before the social media arrival firms used door to door selling and nowadays almost every firm now use social media for increasing their selling and get maximum profit. Due to social media, people have many alternatives of brands. In past people hardly know about few brands but nowadays people are aware of many choices of brands due to advertisement of brands on social media. So, social media has greater impact on consumer behavior as compared to other marketing tools thus the focus to study on this topic. Therefore, this study will be of great significance to managers, wholesalers, retailers and suppliers on the important functions the social media is performing on the sales volume nowadays and how it has been greatly influencing the buying behaviour of consumers. It will be also be of great value to researchers, academia and others who have interest in social media and its effect on sale performance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is on the effect of social media on selected supermarkets performance. The research is targeted at covering the supermarkets like Ebano Supermarkets, PEPS Supermarket as well as Adiba Supermarkets all in Lekki Phase One, Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher effort and concern will be concentrated on arriving at a meaningful research work. However the following will put some limitation to the study
Confidentiality: In this research work, there is the need for the collection of primary data from fast food outlets and consumer.
Time Frame: The time frame within which the study is meant to be concluded is not enough to gather the necessary datum.
Logistic: the logistic problem lies in looking at the selected firms and making generation.
However, to overcome the aforementioned constraints, the research will make the selected respondents to understand that the data will be gathered are only required for academic purpose and nothing else. Time planning and schedule will also be employed to tackle the issue of time as the available time is utilized for academic and the research work. Finally, appropriate sampling technique will be employed to get adequate and reliable sample size necessary to arrive at a meaningful conclusion and recommendation on the overall population.
In overcoming these limitations the researcher will conduct the study base on the sample to be drawn from the population for the purpose of arriving at a meaningful conclusion and sourcing soft copies of the documents required from the relevant internet domains.