A typology of internet users based on comparative affective states: evidence from eight countries

Purpose: The role of affective states in consumer behaviour is well established. However, no study to date has examined online affective states empirically as a basis for constructing typologies of internet users and for assessing the invariance of clusters across national cultures. This paper aims to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach: Four focus groups were carried out with internet users to adapt a set of affective states identified from the literature to the online environment. An online survey was then designed to collect data from internet users in four Western and four East Asian countries. Findings: Based on a cluster analysis, six cross-national market segments are identified and labelled "Positive Online Affectivists", "Offline Affectivists", "On/Off-line Negative Affectivists", "Online Affectivists", "Indistinguishable Affectivists", and "Negative Offline Affectivists". The resulting clusters discriminate on the basis of national culture, gender, working status and perceptions towards online brands. Practical implications: Marketers may use this typology to segment internet users in order to predict their perceptions towards online brands. Also, a standardised approach to e-marketing is not recommended on the basis of affective state-based segmentation. Originality/value: This is the first study proposing affective state-based typologies of internet users using comparable samples from four Western and four East Asian countries. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.