The Importance Of Generatizability And Stability Of WOM Information

3667 Words 15 Pages
Register to read the introduction… This anticipation of regret is expected to make consumers choosing an unfamiliar retailer search and access more WOM information compared to consumers choosing a familiar retailer. Hence, P2. Consumers whose decision to patronize a firm is based on familiarity with the firm will search for less negative WOM information compared to those who decide to buy based on price. Generatizability and Stability of Negative WOM Information Research in the marketing literature has been fairly consistent in assigning high credibility to WOM information in general and negative WOM in particular, because WOM sources have nothing to gain. In a study of unfavorable product ratings, Mizerski (1982) shows that when information about an object or firm comes through the opinions or recommendations of another person, negative information may be more credible and generalizable than positive information. However, consumer perception of credibility and hence generalizability of both positive and negative WOM information available otiline is suspect because of the lack of personal knowledge about the motivations of unseen strangers offering recommendations and the possibility that the commercial interests of the Web site or online forum are involved. Even in the case of independent online forums like USENET groups, reports in the popular media of firms systematically infiltrating online forums and paying students and consumers to "spread bad word" and to deflate popularity ratings of firms and products lead to cynicism about the veracity of the WOM information. Wilson and Peterson (1989) show that evaluative predispositions toward products and firms effectively acted as filters through which word-of-mouth information flowed. Consumers who decide to patronize a retailer based on …show more content…
"Tests significant at 0.01 level. ers do not have an option of choosing among brands of products. Further significantly more subjects (25%, z=2.43, p>0.01) who selected their retailer on the basis of price tried to access retailer reviews on their own during their decision-making process compared to 16% of subjects who selected a retailer they were familiar with, thus supporting PI. When subjects were informed about the availability of retailer reviews 205 (54% of total participants) subjects chose to access the recommendation section before taking their final decision. An equal proportion of participants from both familiar (59%) and price (50%) groups wanted to access the reviews. We found consumers who selected their retailer on the basis of price browsed through significantly (t=6.02, p< 0.001) more negative reviews overall compared to those who selected their retailer on the basis of familiarity thus supporting P2. Contrary to our expectations. Table 2 indicates that the perception of credibility of negative WOM information did not differ across consumers who chose their retailer on the basis of price or familiarity (t=1.37, p>0.10) hence P3 is not supported. However consumers who chose their retailer on the basis of familiarity are more likely to attribute temporary causes to the service failures reported in reviews that will not affect their experience with the retailer compared to those who chose a retailer based on price. Hence our proposition regarding the perceived stability or likelihood of recurrence (P4) is supported (t=3.24,

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