Erik is a tenured professor of marketing and e-business at University of Monterrey UDEM, México. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from UDEM, a double MBA from EGADE Business School and University of North Carolina. Erik completed his joint DBA from Grenoble École de Management and University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Experienced as a consultant, financial accountant, and marketing and sales manager for Caterpillar, GE, and John Deere, Erik is also a former MBA program director for UDEM.
Expansion to social media platforms (SMPs) is common in B2C markets, but e-retailers expanding to SMPs experience market success with substantial heterogeneity. Successful expansions bring questions about the best way to align the business models of e-retailers and SMPs. Business model alignment between e-retailers and SMPs determines e-retailers’ market success: perceived quality, online purchase intent, and intention to recommend online. Using concepts of the search-experience-credence (SEC) classification of goods, tie strength, social presence, and information richness, this study proposes a theoretical framework. It is tested with primary data obtained from online experiments with e-retail shoppers in the United States (US). The results show the role of business model alignment between search goods and tie strength, experience goods and social presence, and credence goods and information richness. Greater market success for e-retailer with search goods (computer-electronics and appliances) and SMP with weak ties (Twitter) than SMP with strong ties (Facebook). Similar market success for e-retailer with experience goods (apparel and accessories) and SMP with high social presence (Facebook) or SMP with low social presence (Twitter). Greater market success for e-retailer with credence goods (nutritional supplements) and SMP with high information richness (YouTube) than SMP with low information richness (Twitter). Additional findings arise from a qualitative analysis of narratives provided by participants. Implications include extending the applicability of existing economic, information, and communication theories with a guide to align business models of e-retailers and SMPs to improve returns.Keywords: business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, consumer behaviour, e-tail, channel strategy, online advertising, digital marketing, business model