Research Review of OWOM: Chinese Cases

Research Review of OWOM: Chinese Cases

Tao Chen (Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing Normal University, SanJiang University, China), Zhiming Zhu (Hohai University, China) and Tienan Wang (Harbin Institute of Technology, China)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-041-5.ch014
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Internet has been an important communication tool. The population of netizens has become the largest all over the world. Online shopping is regarded as a fashion in china. Online word-of-mouth has significant influences on shopping. Chinese researchers did researches on OWOM (Online Word-of-Mouth), discussed the connotation, communication process and communication effect, and practical application, and put forward some managerial suggestions. This chapter reviews those researches, summarizes and describes the future research direction and hope that it can instruct and contribute Chinese researchers.
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Connotation Of Owom

Definition of WOM

WOM (word of mouth) is the exchange and communication of information about the attributes, experiences and suppliers of products or services between consumers. WOM is regarded as one of the most important factors influencing consumers buying (especially for the imitators). Compared with other information channels, such as advertising, WOM is believed more credible by consumers; as a result they are more easily to be accepted by the consumers. Availability of internet enables customers to collect the product information and related comments when browsing web pages. And customers can share their own experiences, opinions and related knowledge about certain products, which consists of WOM (Fu, 2008)

Fu (2008) regarded OWOM, which can be transferred to the masses through the internet, as the positive or negative comments about products or companies from potential, final users or previous customers. OWOM can be transferred through online community, newsgroup, BBS and so on. Bi, Hu (2010) thinks that divergences of the name of WOM through the media of computers are existed, for examples: Internet Word-of-Mouth, Online Word-of-Mouth, Word-of-Mouse, Electronic Word-of-Mouth, Virtual Word-of-Mouth and so on. Zhang,Li (2008)claimed that recent concerns on the formation of OWOM could be divided into two groups. The first group regarded the rating the online products or services of consumers as OWOM, which is simple in form, easy to be quantified, and has already been adopted by most researchers; the others tend to regard the words or comments issued by the consumers on the internet as OWOM. The differences between these two methods lies on the form of OWOM, and there connotations are the same, which means the informal communication and exchange of the features, using experiences and ownership of products or services though internet.

In a word, the definition and connotation of OWOM remains no difference with the traditional WOM. The key is the media being used and the communication advantages brought by OWOM (Bi, Hu, 2010). The number of Chinese literature of OWOM is still very small, and the definition still needs unification.

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