Product category , perceived risk select empirical research on word-of-mouth information source
|School||Central South University|
|Course||Management Science and Engineering|
|Keywords||selection of Word-of-Mouth product category perceived risk strong-tie source weak-tie source|
Word-of-Mouth communication (WOM) plays an important role inshaping consumers’ attitudes and purchase behavior. Moreover,consumers frequently rely on it in making purchase decisions, and believeit as the most trustful information search channel. Although it is apervasive phenomenon throughout the world, the existing empiricalresearches are mostly conducted in western countries. So it is meaningfulto study the factors effecting domestic consumers’ selection of WOMinformation sources.First of all, based on literature review of WOM information sources,the paper categories them into strong-tie and weak-tie sources, andconstructs a research model on effects of product categories, customerperceived risk on customers’ Word-of-Mouth source selection. And then,six goods or services are selected, using the survey research method, torepresent three product categories: search products, experience productsand credence products. Subsequently, questionnaires are designed and inthe course of the pilot test, five facets of perceived risk are obtained:performance risk, financial risk, time risk, physical risk, social andpsychological risk, and WOM information sources consist of. fourdimensions: relative WOM, third-party WOM, media WOM, networkWOM.Finally, empirical studies are conducted in online and offlineconditions using the formal questionnaire. Several conclusions aresupported by the research results: (1) the degree of overall perceived riskincreases along a continuum from search product purchases to credenceproduct purchases, and every facet of perceived risk increases, exceptfinancial risk. Especially, degrees of performance risk, time risk, socialand psychological risk in purchase of credence products are higher thansearch products and experience products significantly. (2) whenpurchasing credence products, the preference for WOM sources issignificantly higher than purchasing experience products and searchproducts. Moreover, the average weighted sum of WOM sources forexperience products is also higher than for search products, but there areno significant differences between them. (3) weak-tie source usages forcredence products are higher than experience products in third-party andmedia WOM facets significantly, expect for network WOM. Besides,there is no significant difference in relative WOM (strong-tie sources)between credence and experience products.