The Influence of Consumer-Generated Content on Customer Experiences and Consumer Behavior

The Influence of Consumer-Generated Content on Customer Experiences and Consumer Behavior

David Harrell (Circuit City Stores, Inc., USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-122-3.ch002
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The purpose of this chapter is to inform retail business managers about the amplification of consumer voices through new forms of Internet media. Candid, real-time feedback through various forms of Web 2.0 have revolutionized the way consumers research, purchase, and enjoy products and services in today’s world of commerce. The chapter provides a background on the importance of the Internet in consumer purchases, the development of various forms of consumer feedback, and the implications for multichannel retail businesses. An analysis of several leading Web 2.0 technologies is provided to clarify key differences. The reader should walk away with a more robust understanding of consumer behavior in today’s multichannel retail landscape.
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Literature Review

Throughout the world, the Internet is becoming an increasingly important factor in the overall customer experience of investigating and actually purchasing goods and services. According to researcher comScore, e-commerce rates continue to rise at double-digit rates as Americans spent US$24.6 billion shopping online in the most recent holiday season (Kharif, 2007). In 2006, 63% of some 67,000 households surveyed by consultancy Forrester Research investigated purchases online (Kharif). Both of these findings suggest there is a significant opportunity to capture sales and influence consumer behavior through a variety of media and information available on the Internet. In the November 2006 Touchpoints survey by DoubleClick, now a Google company, researchers came to the following powerful conclusions:

The Internet—in its various forms of websites, search engines, advertising, email, and professional and consumer reviews—is highly influential at every stage of the process, from first awareness to final decision making. In fact, the web influences purchase decisions—online and offline—more than any other factor. (Row, 2006)

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