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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2022

Yuan Sun, Yating Zhong and Qi Li

As an increasingly popular tool for product exploration, online communities have an important impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. The purpose of this study is to…

Abstract

Purpose

As an increasingly popular tool for product exploration, online communities have an important impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of how visiting behaviors in online communities affect consumers’ offline purchasing behavior. The moderating role of two dimensions of consumer visiting behaviors (visiting depth and visiting breadth) also receives attention. Moreover, the impact of consumer visiting behaviors on offline sales for different types of online communities is also the focus of this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the empirical model, the authors collected data on consumers’ visits to an online real estate platform with local housing sales data. In addition to the baseline regression analysis of the data with the help of Stata 17.0, the study also analyzes the robustness of the results through several methods.

Findings

The authors focus on an online community for newly-built housing and find that consumer visits to the focal online community have a positive impact on offline sales. Visiting breadth has a negative moderating effect on this relationship, and no statistically significant moderating effect is found for visiting depth. Further, our empirical exploration finds that consumer visits to competitive online communities have a positive impact on offline focal product sales, but visits to complementary online communities have no statistically significant effect on offline sales.

Originality/value

Our findings contribute to the understanding of consumers’ cross-channel purchasing behavior and provide new insights into how visiting behaviors in online communities affect consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 122 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Sven C. Berger and Christian M. Messerschmidt

The purpose of this paper is to explain the use of online communities for information seeking in the financial products purchasing process and identify relevant usage antecedents.

1997

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the use of online communities for information seeking in the financial products purchasing process and identify relevant usage antecedents.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework is proposed based on the three dimensions community, environment and user characteristics. Subsequently, a representative survey among German consumers is described, illustrating the value of the framework.

Findings

The study validates the framework to analyze online community usage and identifies financial knowledge and employment status as main drivers of financial community usage among user characteristic.

Research limitations/implications

The present study was carried out in only one country, but provides a starting point for more international research.

Practical implications

The results identify community users as an interesting clientele, which should be considered in financial services providers' online strategy development, especially by encouraging word‐of‐mouth communication. Usage drivers should be considered in web site development to prevent churn. Providers of communities should be concerned about system usability, but also especially take measures to boost the social aspects of community experience.

Originality/value

The study is the first to explain online community usage in the economically highly relevant pre‐purchase stage for financial services.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2022

Amy Wong and Yu-Chen Hung

This paper aims to examine the antecedents of brand passion and brand community commitment, namely, self-congruity and athlete attraction, as well as their effects on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the antecedents of brand passion and brand community commitment, namely, self-congruity and athlete attraction, as well as their effects on online brand advocacy in online brand communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample comprises members of a Facebook football fan club brand community. An online survey measuring athlete-level factors, team-level factors and online brand advocacy provides data to test the conceptual framework using structural equation modeling with partial least squares (PLS-SEM).

Findings

The findings of this paper support the positive spillover effect from athlete subbrand to team brand advocacy, as self-congruity exerted positive effects on brand passion and brand community commitment, while athlete attraction influenced brand community commitment, leading to online brand advocacy.

Research limitations/implications

The findings validate the dimensions of online brand advocacy and advance research on sports brand hierarchy in brand architecture by establishing the transference effect from athlete to the team brand.

Practical implications

To effectively manage their brands online, brand managers need to pay attention to the powerful and multifaceted tool of online brand advocacy. Brand managers can capitalize on their active advocates by working closely with them to co-create uplifting and authentic brand stories that are worthwhile for sharing, especially in times of crisis.

Originality/value

Building on the developmental trajectory of brand love and vicarious brand experience, the findings verify the directionality of the spillover effect and offer insights into the development of brand advocacy across different brand levels.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Kristina Heinonen

The current service landscape is increasingly dynamic, and consumers’ engagement in market-related behavior is constantly changing. Developments in technology further…

2839

Abstract

Purpose

The current service landscape is increasingly dynamic, and consumers’ engagement in market-related behavior is constantly changing. Developments in technology further influence this continuous dynamism. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that may cause different engagement valence, especially as only some consumers actively engage in online platforms. The purpose of this paper is to characterize factors that positively and negatively influence consumer engagement and suggest theoretical and managerial implications for the different factors that determine consumer engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conceptualizes factors that influence consumer engagement based on their characteristics (behavioral, emotional, and cognitive) and the type of influence (positive or negative). The study uses customer-dominant logic of service, which focuses on emancipated customers and idiosyncratic customer logic, rather than on provider-orchestrated customer experiences of brands, firms, or offerings. An abductive research approach is used to qualitatively explore consumer engagement in the context of online interest communities.

Findings

The study identifies the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive factors that positively and negatively determine consumer engagement in the context of online interest communities.

Research limitations/implications

Through the focus on customer logic, the study provides a detailed and nuanced view of factors that influence consumer engagement. Future research is needed to explore how this framework can be applied to other online communities and different service contexts.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into the presence of an interest area in consumers’ lives. The study indicates how firms may be involved in consumers’ lives and how firms may create successful customer relationships based on consumer engagement.

Originality/value

This study enhances previous research in four ways: by characterizing factors that determine engagement, paying particular attention to its negatively valenced factors and examining the interplay of the factors that positively and negatively influence engagement, by describing consumers’ connection to the interest area instead of positioning the brand as the link between the consumers and the provider, and by discussing the theoretical and practical challenges associated with understanding and managing consumer engagement.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Julia Marbach, Cristiana Lages, Daniel Nunan and Yuksel Ekinci

Despite growing recognition of the importance of consumer engagement with new technologies, a gap remains in terms of understanding the antecedents, consequences and…

3014

Abstract

Purpose

Despite growing recognition of the importance of consumer engagement with new technologies, a gap remains in terms of understanding the antecedents, consequences and moderators of online consumer engagement (OCE). This paper aims to address this gap by exploring the relationship between personality traits, OCE, perceived value and the moderating role of personal values.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework anchored in the extant OCE literature is tested through a study of 559 users of two distinct firm-hosted online brand communities (FHOBCs).

Findings

Findings suggest that three personality traits – extraversion, openness to experiences and altruism – are positively correlated with OCE. OCE is related to two types of perceived value, namely, social value and aesthetic value. The personal values of conservation and self-enhancement moderate the relationships between the three identified personality traits and OCE.

Research limitations/implications

Future research into OCE should consider the application of this study’s conceptual framework across different cultures to account for the fast-changing nature of online communities.

Practical implications

Understanding how personality traits drive OCE and what value consumers receive from engagement in online communities can help managers to better segment and evaluate consumers. Engagement and levels of activity within these online communities can be improved accordingly.

Originality/value

This study’s contribution to the OCE literature is threefold. First, the study provides new insights regarding personality traits as antecedents of consumer engagement with FHOBCs. Second, the study reveals the first insights into the role of personal values in the relationship between personality traits and OCE. Specifically, conservation and self-enhancement emerged as moderators of the relationship between three personality traits (extraversion, openness to experiences, altruism) and OCE. Third, the study yields support for perceived value types (social value and aesthetic value) that emerge as consequences of consumer engagement in FHOBCs.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 January 2021

Jana Bowden and Abas Mirzaei

Brands are investing heavily in content marketing within digital communication channels, yet there is limited understanding of the effectiveness of this content on consumer

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Abstract

Purpose

Brands are investing heavily in content marketing within digital communication channels, yet there is limited understanding of the effectiveness of this content on consumer engagement. This paper aims to examine how consumer engagement with branded content is created through consumer-initiated online brand communities (OBCs) and brand-initiated digital content marketing (DCM) communications. Self-brand connections are examined as an important antecedent to the cognitive, affective, behavioural and social dimensions of consumer engagement and the subsequent impact of engagement on loyalty is explored across these two channels.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey approach was used with two consumer samples for one focal retail brand, namely, a consumer-initiated OBC (Facebook) and email subscribers of the retail brand’s DCM communications. A multi-group analysis of structural invariance procedure was used to comparatively examine the formation of engagement for consumers within the OBC and DCM channels.

Findings

This study demonstrates the different ways in which engagement forms across different digital communication channels. Self-brand connection (SBC) was found to strongly drive behavioural, cognitive, affective and social engagement. The cognitive, affective and behavioural engagement was found to mediate the self-brand connection and consumer loyalty relationship. Overall, this relationship was most strongly and significantly mediated by affective and cognitive engagement within the OBC channel when compared to the DCM channel.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study should be interpreted with several limitations in mind. First, the research was conducted within the confines of one OBC, within one social networking site platform characterised by self-selected membership based on a passion and immersion with the brand. This means that consumers within the OBC were highly connected to one another and the retail brand and highly socialised in-group norms and mores. This type and intensity of connection may not be the case for all forms of OBCs. Second, this study was limited to one retail brand, from one brand category. Future research should examine OBCs across a range of utilitarian and hedonic brands to comprehensively contextualise the dimensions of engagement. Third, the data for this study was cross-sectional. The use of netnographic analysis and qualitative interviews across a range of OBCs would support the triangulation of the findings of this research, especially with regard to the narrative that consumers’ express when discussing how their SBC manifests through the dimensions of engagement. Fourth, this study explored a single antecedent of engagement, namely, self-brand connections. Future research may consider how SBC operates in conjunction with other complementary factors to enhance consumers’ affective, cognitive, social and behavioural engagement such as brand awareness, satisfaction and participation/interactivity. In addition, future research could examine an expanded array of engagement outcomes such as purchase intention, the share of wallet and reputation. Finally, future research should examine the operationalisation and validation of the dimensions of engagement using multiple competing scales to assess the suitability of these engagement scales across multiple brand categories and contexts.

Practical implications

Given the increasing investment in branding within social media and the fragmentation of brand communications across multiple communications platforms, the management of effective brand communications remains a significant challenge. This study found that the relationship between self-brand connections, affective, social, behavioural and cognitive engagement and loyalty was context-specific and moderated by a digital communication channel (OBC vs DCM email marketing), thus providing insights as to the effectiveness of OBCs and DCMs as two tools for enhancing consumer loyalty.

Originality/value

This study makes a novel contribution to the engagement literature by examining the antecedent role of self-brand connections in predicting consumers’ engagement; the moderating role of digital communication platforms (OBC vs DCM) on the formation of cognitive, affective, behavioural and social engagement; and the mediating effect of these dimensions on loyalty.

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Carla Ruiz-Mafe, Jose Tronch and Silvia Sanz-Blas

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of emotions and social influences on loyalty formation towards online travel communities.

3743

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of emotions and social influences on loyalty formation towards online travel communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The individual (perceived risk) and social (subjective norm and social presence) antecedents of emotions as well as the impact of emotions on attitude and loyalty towards online travel communities are tested through structural equation modelling techniques. The sample consists of 385 active users of online travel communities in Spain.

Findings

Data analysis shows that perceived privacy and security risk elicit negative emotions such as stress, frustration and fear towards the online travel community. Normative influences (subjective norm) and feeling the presence of other community members (social presence) boost positive emotions towards the online travel community. Interpersonal influences have a positive effect on subjective norm but not external influences. Positive and negative emotions affect preferences towards the online travel community (attitudes) as proposed by social impact theory. Subjective norm and attitude have a direct influence on loyalty towards an online travel community, confirming previous research grounded on theory of reasoned action models.

Originality/value

Despite the crucial impact of consumers’ affective states on loyalty formation, research on social media is mainly focused on the technological nature of consumer information exchanges, neglecting other drivers of consumer behaviour beyond the technology employed. This paper develops a model that integrates the relationships between consumer emotions and their individual (perceived risk) and social (social presence and subjective norm) antecedents and outcome variables (attitude and loyalty). The role of social influences is analysed, assessing the conjoint impact of one-way communication (interpersonal influences and mass media) and Web 2.0 communications (social presence) on positive emotions and loyalty formation towards the online travel community.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Hsiao-Ting Tseng

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is changing how consumers shop, encouraging deeper levels and increased reliance on e-commerce systems and social media such as online

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is changing how consumers shop, encouraging deeper levels and increased reliance on e-commerce systems and social media such as online communities. The online interaction of consumers is more important and brings many uncertainties, which impact the original commerce environment. This study aim to investigate the ethical consideration of information credibility and perceived privacy risk from a psychology perspective in marketing, this study draws on social support theory from social psychology to develop a research model to investigate the role of information credibility and perceived privacy risk on social commerce websites.

Design/methodology/approach

This study investigated social commerce websites and communities. The research data of this study was collected through a questionnaire from consumers on three famous social commerce platforms. Using PLS-SEM to perform data analysis, this study research the importance of information credibility, perceived privacy risk and trust on social commerce websites.

Findings

The findings discuss individuals' reaction to privacy issues and to understand the motives to disclose or reveal personal information within a marketing or consumption context. The research also explores the theoretical implications by integrating theories from information systems and social psychology to investigate ethical issues in social commerce.

Originality/value

Covid-19 makes peer-to-peer communication in online communities is developing collaborative consumption, and information produced in these communities can influence the decisions of consumers. Covid-19 has exacerbated such a change in social commerce environment. Therefore, information credibility plays an important role in developing online communities. It is important to look at the psychological antecedents that drive consumers' willingness to share their personal information when using online communities. The author has clarified which aspects of trust in social commerce should be strategized, including information trustworthiness, perceived privacy risks, social support and information sharing. These are the details that companies should pay more attention to when operating social commerce. Only by paying more attention to these details and giving consumers a positive feeling can consumers' trust be maintained or enhanced, ultimately leading to a successful trust economy.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Dennis A. Pitta and Danielle Fowler

To explore an emerging area in internet practice that has implications for new product developers.

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Abstract

Purpose

To explore an emerging area in internet practice that has implications for new product developers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates concepts including a range of recently published (1993‐2004) theoretical works and ongoing case developments in internet practice.

Findings

Provides information and action approaches to new product developers that may increase the success and accuracy of resulting new products. Outlines the benefits of monitoring and participating in online consumer communities and offers practical suggestions for maximizing their value in the product development process.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical concepts that form the foundation of the paper appear to have a significant application to the product development process but have not been tested empirically.

Practical implications

Uncovers a previously unrecognized source of direct consumer input and cooperation in the design and valuation of new products.

Originality/value

This paper describes the nature and application of online consumer communities to an important marketing process. It offers the potential of improving the success of new products in the marketplace reducing significant waste.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Tuğba Özbölük and Yunus Dursun

This paper aims to investigate the different types of members based on their roles within an online brand community dedicated to Apple.

2690

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the different types of members based on their roles within an online brand community dedicated to Apple.

Design/methodology/approach

Design/methodology/approach Data are drawn from an 18-month netnographic study, including participant and non-participant observation.

Findings

Findings reveal that members of the online brand community share a common goal but they are heterogeneous in many respects. In this research, five different types of brand community members are identified: learner, pragmatist, activist, opinion leader and evangelist. These findings emphasize the heterogeneity of the brand community or the differences of members and subgroups they form in the community.

Practical implications

This paper offers some insights for brand managers. There are different sub-tribes in online brand communities and these sub-tribes develop their own meanings of the brand. This means that online brand communities do not form one single homogenous target group and can be segmented into subgroups. Findings also offer a deeper understanding of negative characteristics of online brand community members. The role “activist” found in this study may be crucial for marketers, as activists can represent the negative side of online brand communities.

Originality/value

The literature on brand communities has focused predominantly on the homogeneity of these communities. This paper extends the literature by demonstrating the heterogeneity in an online brand community. The paper contributes to the brand community literature by substantiating that online brand community members can be segmented into subgroups based on their roles within the community. In addition, the paper extends the existing literature on brand communities that has overlooked the destructive consumer roles.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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