Antecedents, Motivations, and Consequences of Electronic Word-of-Mouth Communication for Consumers: A Comprehensive Understanding

Antecedents, Motivations, and Consequences of Electronic Word-of-Mouth Communication for Consumers: A Comprehensive Understanding

Raife Meltem Yetkin Özbük (Akdeniz University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3042-9.ch007

Abstract

The advent of internet-based technologies and social media has drastically affected how people communicate and share information. Electronic word-of-mouth (E-WOM) communication is one of those communication methods, and it has attracted the attention of scholars because of its effects on the consumer's decision-making process. However, there is a fragmentation of the E-WOM communication literature because of the broad range of platforms and different E-WOM formats. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the antecedents, motivations, and consequences of E-WOM communication for consumers in the digital economy.
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Background

E-WOM is defined as “any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet” (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh, & Gremler, 2004: 39). There are different terms used for E-WOM in various disciplines (Clow & Donald, 2012: 276; King, Racherla, & Bush, 2014) such as online reviews (Chiou, Hsiao, & Chiu, 2018; Esmark Jones, Stevens, Breazeale, & Spaid, 2018), online product reviews (Floyd, Freling, Alhoqail, Cho, & Freling, 2014; Lee & Shin, 2014), online recommendations (Prendergast, Paliwal, & Chan, 2018), online word of mouth (Schmit & Thierry, 2018; Tang, 2017; Tang, 2016), online buzz (Lee, Lee, Kim, & Lee, 2013), online viral marketing (Koch & Benlian, 2015), or online consumer reviews (Filieri, Hofacker, & Alguezaui, 2018; Filieri, McLeay, Tsui, & Lin, 2018).

The properties of E-WOM communication are explained by discussing the components of E-WOM communication and their differences from traditional WOM communication. Similar to traditional WOM communication, E-WOM communication is composed of the sender, receiver, and message. However, overall, there are two important differences between traditional WOM and E-WOM. First, E-WOM occurs via an Internet or web-based platform. Second, in E-WOM, there is no direct feedback from the message receiver to the message sender in all communications. Third, message senders of E-WOM communication are the people who provide E-WOM (Ismagilova, Dwivedi, Slade, & Williams, 2017). They are generally anonymous; they have nicknames and no relationship with the message receiver (Park, Lee, & Han, 2007).

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