Cross-national differences in e-WOM influence

Purpose: This paper aims to present a cross-national study that investigates changes in purchase intentions of UK versus Chinese consumers following exposure to successive e-WOM comments in the form of positive and negative user reviews for experience versus search products. Design/methodology/approach: A 2(e-WOM valence and order: negative versus positive most recent)×2(product type: experience versus search)×3(purchase intentions at t1,t2,t3) repeated-measures factorial design is used to test a set of hypotheses developed from the literature. Findings: Chinese consumers are susceptible to recent e-WOM comments regardless of their valence, while UK consumers anchor on negative information regardless of the order in which it is acquired. This holds particularly for experience products. Originality/value: This cross-national study contributes to the scarce literature on the impact of e-WOM on consumer purchase decisions by comparing UK and Chinese consumers. The authors suggest that culture moderates the development of product evaluations following exposure to e-WOM. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.