The role social cues play in mediating the effect of eWOM over purchasing intentions: An exploratory analysis among university students.

Tsahi Hayat, Arnon Hershkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has long been recognised as a central factor swaying consumer purchasing intention. Previous studies that looked at the interplay between eWOM and purchasing intention have highlighted the role that perceived credibility of eWOM plays in mediating the effect of consumer-generated content and purchase intentions of consumers. In this study, we explore how the level of diversity among users generating eWOM about a product or service affects the recipient's credibility perception regarding that piece of information, and as a result, how this perceived credibility affects the recipient's purchasing intentions. We utilised a between-subjects design, in which the participants (N = 115 undergraduate students) were divided into control and experiment groups. The Twitter network of each participant was collected and analysed in advance (through the Twitter API). Based on this analysis, participants in both the experimental and control groups were shown the same fictitious tweet (endorsing a new cell phone data plan) that was presumably retweeted by people with whom they had active ties. In the experimental group, three people from different social clusters were presented as re-tweeting the content; and in the control group three people from the same social cluster were presented as re-tweeting the content. We showed how social diversity among people generating eWOM can enhance the perceived credibility of the shared content. We then showed that credibility mediates the effect of social diversity over purchasing intentions. The relevancy of these results is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-187
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Customer Behaviour
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Credibility
  • eWOM
  • Exploratory study
  • Purchasing intentions
  • Social network analysis
  • University students

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