The impact of observational learning and electronic word of mouth on consumer purchase decisions: The moderating role of consumer expertise and consumer involvement

Christy M K CHEUNG*, Bo Sophia XIAO, Ivy L.B. Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The social media revolution has created a dynamic shift in the digital marketing landscape. The voice of influence is moving from traditional marketers towards consumers through online social interactions. In this study, we focus on two types of online social interactions, namely, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) and observational learning (OL), and explore how they influence consumer purchase decisions. We also examine how receiver characteristics, consumer expertise and consumer involvement, moderate consumer purchase decision process. Analyzing panel data collected from a popular online beauty forum, we found that consumer purchase decisions are influenced by their online social interactions with others and that action-based OL information is more influential than opinion-based eWOM. Further, our results show that both consumer expertise and consumer involvement play an important moderating role, albeit in opposite direction: Whereas consumer expertise exerts a negative moderating effect, consumer involvement is found to have a positive moderating effect. The study makes important contributions to research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-45
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages3228-3237
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780769545257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012 - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: 4 Jan 20127 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui, HI
Period4/01/127/01/12

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Engineering(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Consumer expertise
  • Consumer involvement
  • Consumer purchase decisions
  • Electronic word of mouth
  • Observational learning
  • Online social interaction

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