Exploring the effects of consumers’ first exposure to electronic word-of-mouth on new product adoption - a comparative study

Qian, Yingying (2021). Exploring the effects of consumers’ first exposure to electronic word-of-mouth on new product adoption - a comparative study. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Although the power of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) on the adoption of new products has been examined in many prior studies, this research is one of the first that aims to explore the effects of eWOM when it is the first information received by consumers about a product.

Specifically, this research compares the effects of consumers’ first exposure to eWOM with the effects of advertising, a traditional channel for consumers to learn initial knowledge about a product. With complementary studies on negative eWOM information, this research is a fresh attempt that provides a full picture describing the influences of three kinds of information on new product adoption: commercial advertising, positive eWOM and negative eWOM. Furthermore, this research tries to explore the possible influences on the sequence of eWOM being exposed to the consumer on new product adoption, via a number of mediating factors.

This study applies both quantitative and qualitative research methods. These two methods are not juxtaposed but rather have sequential and follow-up relationships. The main research method is quantitative, and consumer experiment is the selected quantitative data collection method. Logistic regression analyses the data obtained from 598 respondents and verifies most of the assumptions.

The results show that in a new product launch, positive eWOM is more helpful than advertising. Positive eWOM gathers more product searches and communications, as well as higher levels of product awareness, observability, and trial intention. This tended to give respondents, who became aware of the new product via positive eWOM, higher initial adoption intention. Then, after respondents received the same pieces of negative eWOM information, the initial positive eWOM performed better than advertising in resisting the negative influence from negative eWOM. In addition, when respondents received the same pieces of positive and negative eWOM but in a different sequence, their attitudes and reactions were different.

This research has both theoretical and methodological contributions. It also enables companies to gain an insight into the effects of positive eWOM, negative eWOM, and advertising, which will aid in developing better launching strategies around new products.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Marketing
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11574


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