Academic journal article Journal of Competitiveness Studies

Electronic Word of Mouth (Ewom) and Its Effect on Consumers' Decisions to Buy Products and Services in Traditional Stores in Jordan

Academic journal article Journal of Competitiveness Studies

Electronic Word of Mouth (Ewom) and Its Effect on Consumers' Decisions to Buy Products and Services in Traditional Stores in Jordan

Article excerpt


Although buying over the internet is not common in Jordan, available internet technology and infrastructure has enabled Jordanians to utilize the internet to communicate with the virtual world using social networks and blogs. This research investigates how best to utilize electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM) to affect future consumer purchases in traditional stores and to explore the factors that contribute to the success of this phenomenon. The paper begins by defining 'word of mouth' and investigating the differences between traditional word-of-mouth (WOM) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in Jordan. The paper then examines those factors that affect the diffusion and effectiveness of eWOM. Research was implemented using a sample of 1600 undergraduate students. Variables, such as message source credibility, level of product involvement, message content, and homophily, were found to play an important role in eWOM acceptance and effectiveness. Several findings were found and recommendations made that could benefit both academics and business owners. Suggestions for future research were given.

Keywords: consumers' buying decisions, marketing, Jordan


The diffusion of information technology and the adoption of the internet in our everyday activities affect the way people spend their time and the way they interact with others. One form of interaction that has developed in the last few years and which has had a tremendous effect on peoples' social interaction is the use of social networks. Virtual communities like Facebook, Twitter and social blogs constitute important mediums of communication. In these virtual communities, people tend to build close groups, which they trust and with whom they share their opinions and interests. The sharing of groups' ideas affects the way people think, negotiate, express their feelings and make decisions. This interpersonal communication between people over the internet and through the use of different electronic devices is known as electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM) (Henning-Thrau et al., 2004). eWOM has an important influence on consumers' evaluation of products and buying decision. Consumers visit review websites, social networks and social blogs with questions about products and services before buying a product. This makes eWOM an important factor in the buying decision and a major source of information (Duan et al., 2008). Marketers and online business owners have realized the power of eWOM in motivating and influencing consumers' decisions and preferences, especially when it comes to communication between people with no prior relationship (O'Reilly & Marx, 2011).

Current studies have concentrated on investigating the influence of eWOM in the western world and very limited, if any, attention has been paid to investigating this phenomenon in the Middle East. The limited amount of investigation of eWOM effect on consumer behavior in Middle Eastern countries has motivated the researcher to investigate this area of research. This research will help toward gaining an understanding of how eWOM can enable decision-makers to better communicate their messages and ideas to prospects by using social media and online communities, with the intention of changing their minds and affecting their decisions. This study will also help marketers and business owners understand the best way to build close trusted relationships with prospects through understanding those factors that affect building such a relationship, which will enable decision makers to better anticipate changes in peoples' decisions and prepare them to be proactive.

This paper is organized as follows: first, the researcher reviews the literature on electronic word of mouth (eWOM) and the factors affecting the effectiveness of eWOM. Second, the researcher introduces the research hypotheses and methodology. Lastly, the researcher lists findings and discusses both the academic and practical implications of the study. …

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