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The effects of familiarity and online consumer reviews, on consumers’ trust, risk perception, and behavioral intentions.

Behrens, J. (2014) The effects of familiarity and online consumer reviews, on consumers’ trust, risk perception, and behavioral intentions.

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Abstract:Online shopping has become a common action in daily life. The consumers’ choice for a particular web shop can depend on their familiarity with it. Therefore, consumers often read online consumer reviews in order to reduce their feeling of uncertainty about an (un)familiar web shop. For organizations, retailers and marketers, it is interesting to understand how aspects of familiarity and online consumer reviews can affect consumers’ trust, risk perception and behavioral intentions. This report discusses the results of an experimental study into the influence of familiarity and online consumer reviews on consumers’ trust, financial and product risk perception, intention to purchase, word of mouth intention, and information seeking intention. A 2 (familiarity: familiar and unfamiliar) X 3 (online consumer reviews: positive, negative and an equal mix of positive and negative) between-subjects factorial design was conducted. Two hundred and three females and forty-one males participated in the experiment (n=244). The results show that familiarity and exclusively positive online consumer reviews are, in almost all cases important significant predictors of the variables mentioned. No interaction effects were found. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications of the research results are discussed and suggestions for future research are presented. An important discussed theoretical implication is the composition of negative and positive reviews, which can be tested in different combinations in future research. Practical implications are discussed, regarding web shops becoming more familiar and aware, and closely monitor its online consumer reviews. For future research it is recommended to investigate which outcomes will be found in the case of a different distribution of gender, age, and education. The chapter will finish with a conclusion. This study’s approach of familiarity versus online consumer reviews regarding trust, risk perception and behavioral intention could be a renewed approach for future studies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65496
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