University of Twente Student Theses


The Others: How Social Presence influences consumer behavior in an online context

Vlutters, Nienke (2010) The Others: How Social Presence influences consumer behavior in an online context.

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Abstract:When buying products consumers are influenced by references. With their consuming behavior individuals symbolize with which groups they want to be associated. A way to do this is by buying products that have a higher status. The degree in which individuals behave towards the references is dependent of two factors: social presence and the personality of a individual; need to belong. This research focuses on how social presence and need to belong influence product rating and product choice in an online context. An experimental study was conducted to test the influence of social presence and need to belong on product choice and product rating. As expected, social presence has a positive influence on the product rating, but only when respondents have a low need to belong. Respondents with a high need to belong, rate the products positive when there is no chat present. These results are opposed to what was expected. The finding that chat applications positively influence product rating indicates that it is interesting for marketers to apply social presence in an online context to positively influence product rating by consumers. Further implications of this finding are discussed. Keywords: Social Presence, online consumer behavior, status, Need to Belong, referent groups, product rating, and product choice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Euro RSCG 4D
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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