Author Topic: Abstract  (Read 441 times)

Bertrand Mareschal

  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 74
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
« on: April 08, 2020, 03:59:46 PM »
How social media communications combine with the purchase decision-making process: A Multi-Criteria-Decision-Aid approach
Theodore Tarnanidis
Jason Papathanasiou
Maro Vlachopoulou
Bertrand Mareschal
Author affiliation:
Theodore Tarnanidis, Researcher at the Department of Business Administration,
University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece, email:
Jason Papathanasiou, Associate Professor at the Department of Business
Administration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece, email:
Maro Vlachopoulou, Professor at the Department of Applied Informatics, Dean of
the School of Information Sciences, University of Macedonia, Greece, email:
Bertrand Mareschal, Professor at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and
Management, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, email:
The current paper examines the use of social media in the grocery sector, in North
Greece. It should be mentioned that the grocery sector includes supermarkets, grocery
stores, convenience stores, kiosks, mini markets, as well as other street markets.
According to recent reports published by the Insitute of Retail and Consumer Foods
and the Hellenic Statistical Authority (IELKA, 2011; ELSTAT, 2019) the total
turnover of grocery retail in Greece exhibits increasing economic potentials and is
estimated around 30 to 32 billions yearly, whilst the turnover in category of
supermarket chains represent only 40 percent of the total turnover (with around 12
billion Euros), which clearly indicates the substantial future development
opportunities of this division amid the financial crisis. On the other hand, the food and
grocery sector shows an increasing number of specialized food stores all over the
globe (Howell, 2006). For example, policy makers are trying to offer competitive and
branded products that have better quality, taste, environmentally friendly ingredients
(Aertsens et al., 2011; Lee and Worsley, 2005,). Additionally, they are trying to find
new ways to influence consumer purchase decisions through the crafting of digital
transformation strategies with the use of social media metrics and analytics in
marketing (Misirlis and Vlachopoulou, 2018, 2019; Karczmarczyk, 2018).
Specifically, this work focuses on the effort of supermarket entrepreneurs to best
evaluate the effects of social media on the consumer decision-making process. The
changes in the digital age through the use of web 2.0 tools, provides to consumers a
plethora of interactive and user control information that helps them to acquire and
share valuable contents of the most famous sites, like the Facebook, Twitter,
Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest YouTube, etc., which in turn drive and monitor their
purchase decision preferences (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). Therefore, the bulk of
information produced by the social media tools mirrors to marketing decision-makers
the consumers’ wants, beliefs, commitment habits and purchasing intentions (Qiang
and Miller, 2019) as it provides useful insights in the development of marketing
In order to achieve our goal, we selected to use the methodology of Preference
Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluations (PROMETHEE)
developed by Brans et al. (1986). Specifically, the version of PROMETHEE II (Brans
and Mareschal, 1994) is applied for the assessment of the different social media
alternatives and criteria for complete ranking evaluations of the assigned weights and
values taken by relevant decision makers. The empirical data was collected through
personal interviews with relevant entrepreneurs, where they assessed the importance
of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), i.e. reach rate, engagement, amplification,
virality, conversion, click through and bounce) on the use of different types of social
media in order to influence the consumer decision-making stages (like the need
recognition, information search, alternatives evaluations, purchase decision, and postpurchase
decision). The findings of this study, identify the importance of social media
categorizations in the buying decision process, which actually helps decision-makers
to provide a systematic approach to how this information is used in a purchase
decision task. The contribution of this paper provides a better explanation on how the
social media indicators are used by marketers and data analysts in the current sector in
analyzing the void of the consumer decision-making process. What is more, the
results of this study contribute refreshing insights into social media usage as a guide
to measure purchase decisions orientations.
Keywords: Social media, purchase decision-making process, PROMETHEE II
Aertsens J., Koen M., Wim V., Jeroen B., and Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2011) The
influence of subjective and objective knowledge on attitude, motivations and
consumption of organic food. British Food Journal, 113 (11): 1353-1378.
Brans, J. P., & Mareschal, B. (1994) The PROMCALC & GAIA decision support
system for multicriteria decision aid. Decision Support Systems, 12(4–5), 297–
Brans, J.P; Vincke, Ph; Mareschal, B, (1986) “How to select and rank project: The
PROMETHEE method”. European Journal of Operation Research, 2: 228-238.
Hellenic Statistical Authority-ELSTAT (2019) Greece in figures July-September
2019. Retrieved from, Accessed
Institute of Retail Consumer Goods-IELKA (2011) And overview of the Greek
grocery retail sector, June 2011,
paper.pdfAthens. Accessed 15-12-2019.
Lee, E. and Worsley, T. (2005) “Australians” organic food beliefs, demographics and
values. British Food Journal, 107(11), 855-869.
Karczmarczyk A, Jankowski J, Wątróbski J (2018) Multi-criteria decision support for
planning and evaluation of performance of viral marketing campaigns in social
networks. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0209372.
Howell, D. (2006) Suppliers of variety grows along with consumer preference fro
organic food. Drugstore News, 28 (6), 57.
Misirlis N., and Vlachopoulou M. (2019) A Unified Framework for Decision-Making
Process on Social Media Analytics. In: Sifaleras A., Petridis K. (eds)
Operational Research in the Digital Era – ICT Challenges. Springer
Proceedings in Business and Economics. Springer, Cham.
Misirlis, N., and Vlachopoulou, M. (2018). Social media metrics and analytics in
marketing – S3M: A mapping literature review. International Journal of
Information Management. 38, 270-276.
Qiang, S. and Miller, R. (2019) How social media communications combine with
customer loyalty management to boost green retail sales. Journal of Interactive
Marketing, 46, 87-100.