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Zhang, J. Q., Craciun, G., & Shin, D. (2010). When does electronic word-of-mouth matter? A study of consumer product reviews. Journal of Business Research, 63(12), 1336-1341.            ...Read More


~Posted on Aug 2017

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Zhang, J. Q., Craciun, G., & Shin, D. (2010)....

Zhang, J. Q., Craciun, G., & Shin, D. (2010). When does electronic word-of-mouth matter? A study of consumer product reviews. Journal of Business Research, 63(12), 1336-1341.

            1). I think the authors started this research with an objective of understanding the way in which online product review by customers acts as electronic word-of-mouth. The authors try to understand the way in which eWOM influences the persuasiveness of customers toward purchasing different products. The goal of the authors is to understand whether eWOM are an effective way of influencing customers to purchase a product or not.

            2).  The study is based on the regulatory focus theory. The study has both quantitative and theoretical basis. The regulatory focus theory is used as a basis for determining the consumption goals which customers relate with a particular reviewed product, moderating the effect valence review on persuasiveness. The theory is based on the argument that people pursue certain goals in life. Hence, the customers' goals while purchasing particular products influence their attitude towards the eWOM on their purchasing behaviors. The theory indicates that regulation can be induced or primed. The theory tries to show that customer consumption practices towards a certain product can be regulated by the nature of the review provided through eWOM.

            3). “H1a: for products associated with promotion consumption goals, positive reviews are more persuasive than negative ones.” (p. 1337)

"H1b: For products associated with prevention consumption goals negative reviews are more influential than positive reviews." (p.1337)

            4).For purposes observing these two hypotheses the authors carried out an experimental study.  The primary aim was to determine the way in which the goal of customers in purchasing a particular product influences the persuasion that product reviews that have been done electronically influence the attitude towards a given product. The author first investigated existing literature to ascertain whether the two hypotheses are true or not. In the second study a random sample method was applied, whereby, reviews in the Amazon.com website were replicated with the aim of determining how they influence the customer's persuasiveness toward purchasing a particular product.  The first study was based on controlled experimental environment, during the second one actual data from a website so as to understand whether the provided hypotheses are correct or not.

            5) A total of 150 students were used as participants in the first study, while in the second study data was retrieved from a real website to investigate how it could influence the purchasing behaviors of customers based on the goals they had while purchasing the product. The participants used in the study were the appropriate one as they had adequate nature of the study, and this would enable them to give accurate responses concerning the issues being studies.

 6). The study provided answers related to H1a. The data collected as well as analyzed in the study revealed that customers are more persuaded by positive reviews to purchase products which meet their consumption goals. Hence, the study indicated this hypothesis as true. On the other hand, the study helped to test the H1b. The collected data showed that customers are influenced to purchase preventative products if their reviews are negative, compared to when they are positive. 

            7).  Based on this research it is evident the issue of how product quality influences the persuasiveness of customers toward purchasing it is not addressed. Hence, future studies should focus on this area so as to understand the way in which it influences the customers buying behaviors, as far as EWOM are concerned.  

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