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Title: Are Online Opinion Leaders and Seekers Distinct? A Study on Consumer Electronics Industry in India
Authors: Chakraborty, U.
Bhat, S.
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Global Business Review, 2019, Vol.20, 3, pp.813-825
Abstract: On various social media platforms, such as brand communities and brand pages, one segment of consumers shares product knowledge and another seeks product knowledge. Consumers sharing product knowledge are called online opinion leaders and those seeking product knowledge are called online opinion seekers. Given the importance of opinion leaders as low-cost marketing tools for marketers, there is an impending need to determine whether opinion leaders and opinion seekers are distinct constructs in the online context. The present study addressed this issue by analysing a relatively large sample of 1432 respondents from India. The study adopted a novel approach to collect data. Data has been collected from select e-commerce sites brand pages on Facebook social media platform through Google forms. The study focuses on three consumer electronic product categories, namely, smartphone, laptop and tablet. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to examine the unidimensionality of the variables and confirmatory factor analysis was performed to validate the variable scales. In all the three product categories, online opinion leader and online opinion seeker scales turned out to be unidimensional. Further, the results of the analyses prove that online opinion leaders and online opinion seekers are distinct. This study provides evidence that in the context of an emerging online market, namely, India, online opinion leaders and online opinion seekers are distinct. 2019 International Management Institute, New Delhi.
Appears in Collections:1. Journal Articles

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