Antecedents of consumer relative preference for interpersonal information sources in pre-purchase search

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated clearly the importance of pre-purchase information search within the buying process. Scholars have identified several sources used by consumers in order to obtain information relevant to their purchase situation. Among the various information sources, interpersonal non-commercial sources seem to play an important role in consumers’ choice decisions. The present study examines potential antecedents of consumer relative preference for interpersonal information search. The proposed antecedents include personality traits such as individuals’ susceptibility to interpersonal influence, their need for cognition and their self-confidence, as well as individual differences in product knowledge and perceived risk associated with the purchase of a specific product. Using structural equation modelling on survey data (419 respondents), seven hypotheses — describing relationships between the diverse variables of the model — were tested. The results indicate that consumer relative preference for interpersonal information search was significantly influenced by consumers’ susceptibility to interpersonal influence, their need for cognition, their self-confidence and their product knowledge. Consumers’ product knowledge also influenced their perceived risk, which did not affect their preference for interpersonal search significantly.

Publication
Journal of Consumer Behaviour
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Mehdi Mourali
Associate Professor of Marketing