Title: Understanding the role of sweet and bitter eWoM on purchase behaviour of Indian consumers for a technological product

Authors: Varsha Jain; Jasbeersingh Arora; Ganesh B.E.; Dhruvinkumar Chauhan

Addresses: MICA, Shela, Ahmedabad 380058, India ' Position2 No. 1 BSB Business Centre, 1st floor, Krishna Reddy Colony, Domlur Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560071, India ' MICA, Shela, Ahmedabad 380058, India ' MICA, Shela, Ahmedabad 380058, India

Abstract: Consumers' deep connection with their social circles on digital media has led to the generation of electronic word of mouth (eWoM) and affected stages of purchase behaviour of technological products. However, studies on these variables are scant. Therefore, this study focuses on the role of eWoM; primarily sweet and bitter purchase behaviour and comprehensively on pre, intermediate and purchase. The pre-purchase stage developed into two sub stages: technology and user perception-based. These stages were linked to intermediate stage of purchase which includes individualistic searches online. These proceedings were discussed with the reference groups generating a consideration set. Subsequently, this discussion developed bitter or sweet eWoM. Bitter eWoM was generated when the product did not equal the consumers' expectations. Sweet eWoM was generated when the product exceeded the consumer's expectations. Finally, at the purchase stage, sweet eWoM facilitated the consumers' deeper information retrieval and search for expert reviews leading to the final purchase.

Keywords: electronic word of mouth; sweet eWoM; bitter eWoM; purchase behaviour; Indian consumers; India; technological products; user perceptions; consumer expectations; information retrieval; information search; expert reviews.

DOI: 10.1504/MEJM.2016.078532

Middle East Journal of Management, 2016 Vol.3 No.2, pp.144 - 163

Received: 23 Mar 2016
Accepted: 25 Mar 2016

Published online: 22 Aug 2016 *

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