Economic and Social Satisfaction of Buyers on Consumer-to-Consumer Platforms: The Role of Relational Capital

Xiayu Chen, Qian Huang, and Robert M. Davison
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 21, Number 2, 2016-17, pp. 219-248.


We empirically investigate how sellers’ website quality affects buyers’ economic and social satisfaction, which in turn influences buyers’ repurchase intentions in consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce contexts. In addition, we examine how the effects exerted by economic and social satisfaction on repurchase intentions are moderated by relational capital between buyers and sellers. Data collected from 311 buyers on the TaoBao website provide strong support for the proposed model. The results indicate that information quality exerts a stronger impact on economic satisfaction than does service quality. Service quality exerts a stronger impact on social satisfaction than does information quality. System quality has no effect on economic or social satisfaction. Economic satisfaction can contribute to buyers’ repurchase intentions, but the impact of social satisfaction on repurchase intentions is insignificant. Furthermore, relational capital positively moderates the effect of social satisfaction on repurchase intentions, whereas it has no moderating role in the relationship between economic satisfaction and repurchase intentions. Our study advances the theoretical understanding of the information systems success model in the C2C e-commerce context. The results also inform online sellers that they should more strategically improve website quality dimensions according to different types of buyers’ satisfaction and take advantage of relational capital in order to facilitate buyers’ repurchase intentions.

Key Words and Phrases: Consumer-to-consumer platforms, economic satisfaction, relational capital, repurchase intentions, social satisfaction, website quality.