Electronic word of mouth by potential customers: A prepurchase behavioural perspective

Rufaro Kelvin Major, Mercy Mpinganjira

Vol 19 | Issue 2 pp. 123-139


Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is crucial in customers’ decision-making process and purchase decisions. Although the eWOM phenomenon has been widely explored, limited studies have investigated eWOM as a volitional prepurchase behaviour by potential customers. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate eWOM intention towards alternative service providers (OTT TVs) as a volitional prepurchase behaviour by potential customers. The study was cross-sectional and it used a quantitative descriptive research design. A self-administered online survey using a non-probability sampling by means of convenience sampling was implemented to gather the data from users of South African cable tv services in Gauteng. The usable sample of the study had 438 respondents. The proposed conceptual model of the study was tested by conducting a structural equation modelling using the statistical package SPSS with AMOS version 27.0. Among the study’s key findings, the study shows that service quality negatively impacts alternative attractiveness.
Furthermore, the research findings indicate that alternative attractiveness is a strong predictor of attitudes towards switching. The empirical findings also reveal that switching intention significantly predicts eWOM intention. Several contributions were ultimately drawn from the current study and recommendations were provided based on the empirical findings of the study. The study bridges the gap in literature by uncovering that eWOM can also be perceived.

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