The implications of eWOM adoption on the customer journey

Purpose – This paper aims to investigate customers’ motives to engage with electronic word of mouth (eWOM), as well as the effect of eWOM on customer behavior, both at the purchase and post-purchase stages.
Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach was adopted, consisting of 30 semi-structured interviews with Thai consumers. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.
Findings – Information validation, product evaluation, purchase and post-purchase validation are key motives for consumers to search for eWOM. Furthermore, eWOM quantity, eWOM credibility and attitudes toward eWOM play a critical role in evaluation of information usefulness and adoption. Moreover, five different types of shoppers were identified according to their purchase behavior after adapting eWOM: prompt shoppers, in-store shoppers, promotion shoppers, conservative shoppers and remedy shoppers.
Originality/value – While the implications of the adoption of eWOM have been explored in previous research, there is limited understanding in terms of the impacts of eWOM on the customer journey. This study addresses this research gap by investigating not only customers’ motives to engage with eWOM but also its effect on their behavior at the purchase and post-purchase stages.