University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Research on satisfaction, loyalty and Word-of-Mouth (WOM) behavior has made considerable progress within recent years, but important aspects remain neglected. In this thesis we argue that digital-WOM (product opinions online) plays an increasingly significant role in consumer purchase decisions. Our research adds to the loop model presented by Vetvik, et al. (2009), where we based on an experiment show that satisfaction and loyalty are strongly affected by other customers´ opinions in the post-purchase phase. In addition we show that a company can influence these measures by engaging in online forums. It is important that companies start taking digital-WOM seriously. However, companies should have a thoughtful plan of how to grasp the opportunities ahead before entering the hazardous online landscape.

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