Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM): The relationship between anonymous and semi-anonymous eWOM and consumer attitudes
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Word-of-mouth (WOM) is based on personal recommendations where the sender is known by the consumer, thus, the persuasive nature of WOM is attributed to trust between the sender and the receiver of a message. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) however, eliminates the consumer’s ability to judge the credibility of sender and message. Nevertheless, a high amount of people read online reviews about products and therefore make use of eWOM. Online reviews can be anonymous or can offer additional personal details of the sender and can have an influence on the credibility of the message, which in turn, can induce different attitudes towards specific products.
This study aims to identify as well as understand the relationship between anonymous and semi anonymous eWOM and its corresponding characteristics in regards to the attitudes of consumers towards a laptop computer.
Methodology A qualitative research method was conducted with the intention to understand the relationship between anonymous and semi anonymous eWOM towards consumers attitude. Primary data was collected, as the authors of this study were not able to locate research studies concerning the difference between anonymous and semi-anonymous eWOM and its relationship towards consumer’s attitudes. For this reason, four focus groups were carried out with students from the Jönköping University. During a pilot study, differences between male and female participants became visible therefore the focus groups were separated between men and women with the intention of collecting significant data.
The research was successful as it led to identify a relationship between the personal attributes of an online reviewer and the consumer attitudes towards a laptop. By reading online reviews and thus, observing the opinion of other people as well as using comparisons of different laptops, consumers form attitudes towards laptops. Moreover, it appears that consumers’ attitudes are more likely to be influenced by the message if it is perceived as credible. Several personal attributes of a reviewer such as name, photograph of a person, pseudonym, age, gender, country of residence and profession were identified to have an influence on the credibility of a message, whether they might increase or decrease the credibility. Additionally, it became visible, that women are relatively more likely to be influenced by personal attributes of a reviewer than men.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 73 p.
eWOM, online reviews, consumer behavior, anonymous eWOM, semi-anonymous eWOM
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18145OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-18145DiVA: diva2:529125
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
2012-05-25, B3008, 12:00 (English)
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Hunter, Erik, Dr.