An investigation of the motives that drive consumers to engage in eWOM about consumer goods.
EWOM has become an integral part of users’ online communication, affecting not only consumers’ brand and product opinions, but also their purchase behavior. Brands, acknowledging the significance of eWOM in today’s digital era, have been attempting to realize its source in an effort to understand how they could increase the eWOM content related to them, enhancing their reputation. In this research, a specific industry, the consumer goods industry, will be the focal point of the eWOM investigation, as, although it constitutes a highly profitable sector, it remains underexplored. Therefore, this research is concerned with the motives that drive consumers to engage in eWOM communication about consumer goods. The motives examined were retrieved from literature related to eWOM and are product dissatisfaction, social benefits, self-enhancement, economic incentives, advice-seeking, and anonymity. A possible mediation effect of concern for other consumers in the relation between product dissatisfaction and eWOM engagement was also investigated. All motives were classified according to the adapted Balasubramanian and Mahajan’s framework, into focus-related utility, consumption utility, approval utility, and identity protection utility, and the research aimed to offer an answer to the question: “To what extent do focus-related utility, consumption utility, approval utility, and identity protection utility drive consumers to engage in eWOM communication about consumer goods?”. To provide a response to the research question, an online survey was conducted, gathering 233 accurate responses. The results of the data analysis demonstrated that when the motives are examined according to the category they belong to, social benefits from focus-related utility, self-enhancement from approval utility, and anonymity from identity protection utility, are significant in predicting eWOM behavior, whereas the combination of all motives in one analysis indicated that only self-enhancement constitutes the main predictor of users’ eWOM. This result signifies that social benefits and anonymity are better explained through self-enhancement. Also, although finally there was no mediation effect, further analyses examined the relations between the three variables, to obtain a better understanding of their associations. Overall, the findings provide a useful, practical guide about how consumer goods brands could augment the eWOM content related to their products.
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|Dr. Anne-Marie van Prooijen|
|Media & Business|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Myrto Magklara. (2022, June 27). An investigation of the motives that drive consumers to engage in eWOM about consumer goods.. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/65021