Title: Impact of electronic word-of-mouth on brand relationship and purchase intention: the case of the smartphone industry

Authors: Samer Elhajjar

Addresses: University of Balamand, Balamand, Koura, P.O. Box 100-Tripoli, Lebanon

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to examine how electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) affects brand relationship and consequently influences purchase intention in the smartphone industry in Lebanon. A questionnaire-based study was conducted to examine the influence of e-WOM on brand relationship and purchase intention of consumers. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse 350 questionnaires. The results show that there is a significant relationship between e-WOM, brand relationship, and purchase intention and that brand relationship partially mediates the effect of e-WOM on purchase intention. Our study offers a useful insight to theory and practice as it lays the ground of the importance of e-WOM as a universal tool of communication between businesses and customers. Previous research shows that consumer's evaluation shared with fellow customers can significantly impact customer's satisfaction (Wu, 2007). But there is still limited research on the effects of fellow customers' reviews on the customer's relationship with brands. Thus, our study fills the literature gap and examines how e-WOM affects brand relationship and purchase intention in the smartphone industry in Lebanon.

Keywords: word-of-mouth; brand relationship; consumer behaviour; social networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2020.10047712

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2022 Vol.28 No.2, pp.263 - 279

Received: 17 Feb 2020
Accepted: 30 Jun 2020

Published online: 03 Jun 2022 *

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