The valence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and choice of online opinion platform

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The valence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and choice of online opinion platform

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Title: The valence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and choice of online opinion platform
What role do motivations to engage in positive and negative WOM play in consumers’ platform choice
Author: Todorova, Mira Radoslavova
Abstract: Nowadays, more and more consumers are employing the online opinion platforms to share and exchange product experiences with others. Both positive and negative electronic wordof- mouth (eWOM) concerning countless number of products and services has become easily accessible to the global community, thus turning this informal communication medium into a preferred source of marketplace information. With eWOM gaining increasing popularity among consumers, it is crucial for marketers to learn how to use and harness its power. Having certain predictability of where consumers are more likely to post their positive or negative product reviews and the most influential motives lying behind their choice of online opinion platform will undoubtedly help marketers to control and even benefit from eWOM. Given the great number of online venues (e.g. product review websites, personal blogs, brand’s forums, social networking sites, etc.) that offer space for consumer thoughts, it is interesting to investigate how the users choose the eWOM platform, depending on the positive or negative nature of the feedback they want to communicate, which motivations play a role in the decision making process and what platform characteristics are taken into account. By integrating the traditional motives to engage in positive and negative eWOM with some distinctive features of a marketer-controlled vs. non-marketer controlled online opinion platforms, the current study aims to shed light into the intricacy of consumer online communication behaviour. Using an online sample of 134 consumers, the research findings confirmed that the nature of the product feedback has a significant impact on the type of website the consumer chooses as communication medium. The participants were more likely to share positive product reviews on the independent online opinion platform, while for expressing negative product feedback they preferred the brand’s website. ‘Helping the company’ emerged as the dominant motivation behind the decision to engage in positive eWOM on a third-party opinion platform, while ‘anxiety reduction’ was found to influence negative eWOM behaviour on a company’s website. The study findings contribute to our understanding of consumers’ communication behaviour in the electronic medium and provide managers with an advantage in effectively and successfully dealing with consumers’ eWOM.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10417/3798
Date: 2013-07-24
Pages: 71 s.
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