Central European Management Journal
International Contexts of Social Media and e-WoM Communication in the Customer Decision-Making Process
Poznań University of Economics and Business
Purpose: The main purpose of the paper is to identify the importance of social media in e-WoM (electronic word of mouth) in relation to the two stages of consumer behavior, pre-purchase and post-consumption, in groups of different gender and countries. The article answers three research questions. Whether the frequency of using the most popular social media influences the range of using them in e-WoM among individual users? Which stage of consumer behavior process is more dependent on social media, pre-purchase or post-consumption? Do any differences exist between men and women in the scope under consideration?
Methodology: The analysis bases on literature studies and empirical data collected among 1246 respondents from four countries: China, Poland, the United States of America, and Turkey. Findings: General conclusions show differences between these countries in relation to the use of social media for e-WoM. Moreover, results confirmed the findings of literature analysis wherever consumers used social media at the stage of looking for information and advice about products (pre-purchase). Gender appeared as a significant differentiating factor that influences e-WoM behavior.
Research limitations: The design of the research (samples’ size and sampling method) could place some limits on the capacity of the study to generalize the results to other national contexts. Research implications: The results offer information for marketers who use social media communication to build brands’ loyalty in the international marketplace and individuals who rely on experiences shared through social media.
Originality: The content of the paper is important, timely, original, and focusses on the subject infrequently studied in the literature. The information from the paper applies to numerous groups of stakeholders.