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How electronic word-of-mouth marketing influences consumer’s decision-making



By: Muskan Puri

Word-of-mouth (WOM) is a traditional marketing strategy used when consumers discuss a product or service with people in their close circle. However, with the advent and widespread use of the Internet, a new form called Electronic Word-of-Mouth (e-WOM) has emerged. Promoters passionately utilise e-WOM, which is defined as “the informal communication directed at other consumers about ownership and nature of goods and services including their sellers as well.” Unlike traditional WOM, e-WOM has a global scope. In the past, consumers shared their experiences through traditional WOM, but social media has completely transformed the way consumers share their opinions and experiences.

Companies now advertise their products or services through brand ambassadors and social media influencers on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. However, companies pay influencers for their services. As a result, online sources have become a significant channel for obtaining information. Influencers create vlogs, blogs, and provide ratings, all of which contribute to electronic word-of-mouth marketing. The marketing technique establishes its own unique identity and influences consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, influencers were primarily unpaid for promoting products. They would purchase products, use them, and provide reviews or ratings based on their experiences. However, companies have realised the potential of social media influencers in attracting customers, leading them to utilise influencers as a marketing strategy. However, consumers are one step ahead. They rely on user reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. Users leave comments or reviews on influencers’ posts, which influence the decisions of other consumers.

This form of advertising is the best and free way to share information and opinions from businesses to consumers. Opinions and statements, whether positive or negative, are made by potential, current, or former customers about a product or company, and are spread worldwide via the Internet.

Consumers strive to be rational and wise in their decision-making process. They always want to ensure they choose the best option available, regardless of what they are shopping for. To achieve this, they conduct research, including searching on Google, watching YouTube videos, checking ratings, and extensively reading customer reviews. The purpose of this research is to gauge others’ opinions about a particular product or service and whether they would recommend it or not. In conclusion, it can be said that 88% of people trust online reviews from other customers just as much as they trust recommendations from their family and friends.