Social media or shopping websites? The influence of eWOM on consumers’ online purchase intentions

I Erkan, Chris Evans
in Journal of Marketing Communications, Journal article


© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThis study empirically tests and compares the influence of friends' recommendations on social media and anonymous reviews on shopping websites in the context of online purchase intention. For this purpose, we analyse the impacts of these two platforms based on the components of information adoption model (IAM) which are borrowed as information quality, information credibility, information usefulness and information adoption. We conduct a survey and find anonymous reviews as more influential on consumer' online purchase intentions than friends' recommendations on social media. However, as this result was contrary to that expected, we conduct another study through in-depth interviews in order to enlighten our results found in the first study. In Study 2, we find the reasons why consumers prefer anonymous reviews rather than friends' recommendations. Information quantity, information readiness, detailed information and dedicated information are factors which make shopping websites superior than social media in terms of the impact of electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Academic and managerial implications are discussed.