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To what Extent Does Electronic Word of Mouth Influence Online Purchase Decision Making? (2012)

Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is an online extension of traditional WOM that offers greater scope and speed of information diffusion. It is a communication medium that has seen a sudden increase in popularity. Therefore, it is of particular interest to marketers to further understand consumer buyer behaviour. This dissertation explores t

o what extent consumers are influenced by online product reviews when making their purchase decisions. Recent academic research suggests that eWOM in the form of online product reviews can influence sales of a product and or service. Factors such as source credibility, argument strength and community trust within the online context are all key influencers over a consumers decision to purchase. This study aims to explore the influence of these factors further in order to understand how the consumer evaluates electronic word of mouth in the form of an online product review and to what degree it influences a consumers product purchase decision.

The research followed a quantative design method by using online survey questionnaires. The primary findings from this study showed how: consumers are less likely to trust brand sites when conducting information seeking behaviour, product information is the primary motive for information seeking and the credibility of the product review itself is more influential than the source when making purchase decisions and finally that a consumers evaluation of an online product review will strongly influence a consumers purchase decision.


  • 15,000 words – 90 pages in length
  • Good use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes questionnaire
  • Ideal for marketing students

1. Introduction
Introduction to study
Research Objectives

2. Literature Review
From traditional to electronic wom
The growing popularity of ewom
How does ewom influence sales?
Motivations for seeking
Electronic word of mouth platforms
Independent product review sites
Independent Retailer sites
Brand website
Personal blogs, Message boards and Social networking sites
Virtual communities (VC‟s)
Perceived trust in a virtual community
Source credibility
Online consumer reviews
Consumer review and purchase decision
Valence of views
Information Adoption Model
Hypotheses

3. Methodology
Secondary Research
Primary Research
Philosophical paradigms
Positivism as a paradigm
Research Approach
Deductive
Primary Research Strategy
Quantative versus Qualitative
Research Method
Questionnaire design
Pilot Study
Sampling
Location
Participants
Data analysis techniques
Survey Limitations
Ethical considerations

4. Findings and Analysis
Descriptive findings
What is your motivation for posting an online product review?
How do you rate the quality of a review based on the amount of content available?
Hypotheses
H1: Respondents are less likely to trust social networking and brand websites when seeking online product reviews
H2: Respondents primary motivation for information seeking is to find out more information about the product
H3: The credibility of the product review itself is more important to the respondents than the site it is hosted on or the individual reviewer
H4: A consumer’s evaluation of online product reviews will strongly influence their decision to purchase
Hypotheses Confirmation

5. Discussion and Conclusion
H1: Respondents are less likely to trust social networking and brand websites when seeking online product reviews
H2: Respondents Primary motivation for information seeking is to find out more information about the product
H3: The credibility of the product review itself is more important to respondents than the site it is hosted on or the individual reviewer
H4: A consumer’s evaluation of online product reviews will strongly influence their decision to purchase
Limitations
Further Research Recommendations

Appendix Section

References

Electronic Word of Mouth Dissertation
Electronic Word of Mouth Dissertation

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