From Consumer to Community: Factors of Influence in the Purchasing Decision Making Process

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Association for Computing Machinery
The impacts of online collaboration and networking among consumers on social media (SM) websites which are featuring user generated content in a form of product reviews, ratings and recommendations (PRRR) as an emerging information source is the focus of this research. The proliferation of websites where consumers are able to post the PRRR and share them with other consumers has altered the marketing environment in which companies, marketers and advertisers operate. This cross-sectional study explored consumers' attitudes and behaviour toward various information sources (IS), used in the information search phase of the purchasing decision-making process. The study was conducted among 300 international consumers. The results were showing that personal and public IS were far more reliable than commercial. The findings indicate that traditional marketing tools are no longer viable in the SM milieu.