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Investigating Commercial Capabilities and Trust in Social Media Applications for Entrepreneurs

Lookup NU author(s): Aisha Alarfaj, Dr Ellis SolaimanORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This study attempts to present sellers’ behaviours and activities in social commerce within the context of a local social group. It describes how the sale and marketing of homemade products, or imported goods, are conducted in Saudi Arabia using social media platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Snapchat) as well as using offline tools such as phones, family and friend recommendations, and events. We interviewed 17 female entrepreneurs who own e-shops on social media applications. The research describes how sellers try to market themselves and build their reputation to gain consumer trust despite a lack of commercial functionality within the social platforms that they use. This paper presents insights into new opportunities for peers and business owners that social commerce can bring. We also argue that social media applications can expand their uptake from businesses and entrepreneurs by designing functionality aimed at improving their commercial capabilities, and aimed at enabling sellers to build their own reputation and trust.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alarfaj AA, Solaiman E

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 9th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - Transforming Communities (C&T '19)

Year of Conference: 2019

Pages: 65-75

Online publication date: 03/06/2019

Acceptance date: 07/04/2019

Date deposited: 12/05/2019

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3328320.3328390

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450371629