E-WOM as a New Paradigm in the Consumer Decision-Making Process

E-WOM as a New Paradigm in the Consumer Decision-Making Process

Esra Güven (Celal Bayar University, Turkey) and Volkan Yakin (Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5993-1.ch004
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Consumer-to-consumer communications in online environments are of a vital importance to the consumer decision-making process. This process consists of five phases, each affected by eWOM communications deeply from the stimulation to the post-purchase behavior. Among all other factors having an impact on this process, the impact of eWOM has a distinguished role. As the technology grows and the consumers use internet and the reviews via internet, they become more and more attached to these reviews to make a purchase decision. In this chapter, the authors make a comprehensive explanation about the consumer decision-making process and explain the relationship of the decision-making phases with eWOM communications.
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It can easily be said that consuming behaviour is a decision-making behaviour. So consumers are the people who always walk on this decision road, and deciding about something has mostly been a challenging cognitive work. To be able to share this cognitive load, consumers have applied to different sources for help. The friends and the people around have always been an important support for decision-making process so far. But the consumers of today have a faster and a more effective power in their hands: internet and social media platforms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Opinion Leader: Influential members of a community, group, or society to whom others turn for advice, opinions, and views.

Cognitive Dissonance: The mental stress or discomfort about the purchased services or products experienced by consumers in the post-purchase process.

Social media: Computer-mediated tools that allow people and companies to create, share, or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.

Decision-Making Process: The basic decision process used by consumers to make a purchase or not.

eWOM: Any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company that is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the internet.

Consideration Set: A set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more consumers or groups of consumers.

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