Effects of suspicion on the perception of online referrals: the role of congruity and message sidedness
by Christoph Pütz
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (IJIMA), Vol. 11, No. 1, 2017

Abstract: This research investigates how a consumer's suspicion that an online referral may result from marketers' involvement affects referral persuasiveness. Two referral characteristics are examined in this regard: referral congruity and message sidedness. It is demonstrated that referral congruity can motivate consumers to question the authenticity of online referrals and that message sidedness determines subsequently the type of motive attributed to observed referral behaviour. It is further shown that the perceived referral motive affects attitudes toward the recommended item as well as purchase intentions. Based on the findings implications are drawn for planning effective referral campaigns.

Online publication date: Fri, 17-Mar-2017

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