The role of authenticity of user-generated content as part of the product presentation in an online shop : A qualitative study of the empirical case of H&M
Sammanfattning: Background: The following thesis explores the use of UGC pictures as part of the product presentation in the online shop of a fashion retailer. Of interest are four variables and which influence these are having on the perception of the UGC pictures through the lens of authenticity. The theoretical background and the analysis are done through a developed model based on the SOR model of Mehrabian and Russell (1974). Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to gain deeper insights about the role of authenticity on the perception of consumers towards UGC pictures which are part of the product presentation of a fashion online shop. Method: This thesis follows a qualitative study by conducting two focus group sessions with in total 15 participants, as well as semi-structured interviews with four participants of the focus group. Findings: Resulting from the findings of this thesis it could be argued, that UGC pictures would be theoretically well suited as part of the product presentation. However, not in terms of authenticity, as consumers have an existing attitude towards content from social media. Value: The findings of this thesis are providing valuable insights into the perception of UGC pictures in the context of an online shopping setting through the lens of authenticity. The presented findings are beneficial and are giving tangible advice for online shop providers to not only understand the perception of consumers to the UGC pictures but also how authenticity is influencing this perception.
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