Title: Implications of the use of social media for pre-purchase information searches for automobiles
Authors: Abeer A. Mahrous
Addresses: Business Administration Department, Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University, P.O. Box 12613, Giza, Egypt
Abstract: Previous research in the information search of pre-purchase literature has indicated that the impact on information search behaviour of using social media as a source of information source should be investigated. This paper attempts to address this gap by examining the implications of social media information searching for pre-purchase search for information on automobiles. A sample of 384 current and prospective buyers was drawn from the Egyptian automobile market. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling. The results suggest that social media-based information searching has an impact on information quality, consideration sets and selection criteria. Accordingly, consumers are tending to use the social media as their initial and major source of information before they make a purchase. Moreover, the incidence of using offline information searches at this point is tending to decline. Some managerial insights into these results are provided.
Keywords: social media; pre-purchase search; automobiles; information sources; emerging markets; pre-purchase information; vehicle purchasing; automobile industry; automotive purchases; information retrieval; Egypt; structural equation modelling; SEM.
International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2016 Vol.11 No.3, pp.254 - 275
Received: 20 Nov 2014
Accepted: 11 Mar 2015
Published online: 29 Jun 2016 *