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Asian Journal of Marketing
  Year: 2017 | Volume: 11 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 34-43
DOI: 10.3923/ajm.2017.34.43
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Word of Mouth or Price Matters in Quality Considerations
Wai Ki Liang and David Corkindale

Background and Objective: A recent study of what is known about online word of mouth identified that there was a need to understand more about the way in which it influenced the consumer decision making journey. The objective of this study was to contribute to fulfilling this need by examining the influence of online word of mouth (WOM) on the perceptions of quality for a service in the presence of different price acceptability levels. The study was conducted in the context of a service, a group package tour, which embodies high levels of experience attributes where it is known that potential customers use word-of-mouth advice as well as price to gauge quality in a purchase decision. Methodology: The study was conducted through a series of 12 online experimental settings using typical consumers in realistic information settings. Three valences of online WOM were systematically examined for their effects: Positive, negative and inconsistent. The way that WOM may influence the relationship between advertised price of a service and perceptions of its quality was examined. Three hypotheses were developed and subsequently examined using 2-way ANOVA and t-tests of results from the various conditions of WOM and price in the experiments. Results: The findings are that for all of the price acceptability levels, online WOM was found to positively relate to consumer’s quality perceptions. Under all price conditions, the level of perceived quality was not found to differ significantly when online WOM was inconsistent, that is, both positive and negative online WOM were present, than when WOM was absent. Conclusion: It is concluded that online WOM as a cue to service quality, moderates the price effect on perceptions of quality for a service with high levels of experience attributes, like a Group Package Tour (GPT). An implication is that online WOM, facilitated by the growth of Web 2.0 applications, such as social networking sites, can weaken the ability of service providers to influence consumer’s purchase choices by relying on price alone to signal quality.
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How to cite this article:

Wai Ki Liang and David Corkindale, 2017. Word of Mouth or Price Matters in Quality Considerations. Asian Journal of Marketing, 11: 34-43.

DOI: 10.3923/ajm.2017.34.43








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