Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Impact of Perceived E-WOM on Purchase Intention: The Mediating Role of Corporate Image

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Impact of Perceived E-WOM on Purchase Intention: The Mediating Role of Corporate Image

Article excerpt

Abstract

The main objective of this research is to examine the impact of perceived electronic word of mouth (eWOM) on purchase intention; by taking the corporate image as mediating variable. This research adopted the customers' views; secondary schools students who are familiar and have an active account on one or more of these social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram). The conceptual framework of this study was tested using data gathered from the questionnaires directed to a total sample of 1000 students located in Amman. The statistical results of the multiple regression test indicated that eWOM quality, eWOM credibility, and eWOM quantity respectively; are significantly and positively impact purchase intention. In terms of the mediating role of corporate image the results indicated that corporate image mediate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Accordingly, Research conclusion, recommendations and future research are also discussed.

Keywords: perceived eWOM (eWOM credibility, eWOM quality, eWOM quantity), corporate image, purchase intention, education sector, Jordan

1. Introduction

The fast growth of the Internet with its improved communication capabilities has considerably amplified the scale and scope of word-of-mouth WOM communication; which presented a fertile base for electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) communication. For the most part, the Internet's far-reaching, transparency, and accessibility have set new meaning to WOM concept, and that's why marketers are still interested in getting involved in WOM activities (Kozinets et al., 2010). Regardless of the buzz neighboring counterfeit online business ratings and reviews, customers haven't stopped reading other people's posts about their experiences with firms. The escalating use of companies' social networking sites presents customers with high opportunities to start searching for more trusted product information, and at the same time; allows customers to provide their own experience with the products. According to emarketer (2014) report; respondents still read more online reviews before putting trust in a local business. In addition, more and more customers use Web 2.0 tools (e.g., customer review sites, online discussion forums, weblogs, social network sites, etc.) to exchange product information (Lee, Park, & Han, 2008). The influence of conventional marketing efforts seems to be on the way out (e.g., Sweeney et al., 2008; Gil-Or, 2010). Individuals are seen more as vehicles for dissemination communication (San José-Cabezudo & Camarero-Izquierdo, 2012). EWOM has been under the research scope merely a decade (Breazeale, 2009). This is why it is not yet seen as an exact concept between academics and practitioners'. Hence, eWOM is a priceless research area to additional examine. According to the literatures, the impact of eWOM communication can be classified into two levels: (1) Market-level analysis and (2) Individual-level analysis (Lee & Lee, 2009). At the market-level analysis, researchers focused on market-level parameters (e.g., product sales); whereas, in the individual-level analysis, researchers assumed eWOM as a process of personal influence, in which communications between a communicator (sender) and a receiver can alter the receiver's attitude and purchasing decision (Park & Lee, 2008, Cheung, Lee, & Thadani, 2009). As a consequence, this research will focus on the individual-level of eWOM. According to the (2013) Survey provided by Pew Global Attitudes, which covered 24 countries, the study showed that; Jordan ranked second in Internet usage in the Arab world (47%), Lebanon topped the list with a (57%) Internet usage rate, while Egypt came third (43%), followed by Tunisia (40%). In addition, 84% of the total Internet users in Jordan use social networking sites. Staying in touch with friends and family is the number one reason that drives Internet users to use social networking sites, according to the report, which indicated that (69%) of social network users share their views about music and movies, (64%) share views about religion, and (63%) share views about politics. …

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