WOM or eWOM or Something Else: How Does the Web Affect Our Dependence on Shopping Information Sources?
How does the Web affect our dependence on different shopping information sources? We compared the perceived importance of four decision sources (self-evaluation, traditional word-of-mouth or WOM, electronic WOM or eWOM, and expert opinion) under three circumstances (one cannot use the Web, one can only use the Web, one can use both) for 6 different types of products (2 search, 2 experience, and 2 credence goods). The data collected from 549 consumers show that the importance of eWOM to consumer purchase decision-making is rather limited to credence goods despite the popularity of eWOM. In addition, Web access increases consumers’ confidence in self-evaluation over WOM for search goods. In contrast, the exclusive reliance on the Web does not increase the confidence in self-evaluation for experience and credence goods. Implications and future research agendas are discussed.
Nakayama, Makoto; Wan, Yun; and Sutcliffe, Norma, "WOM or eWOM or Something Else: How Does the Web Affect Our Dependence on Shopping Information Sources?" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 446.