Factors influencing Generation Y consumers' perceptions of eWOM credibility: a study of the fast-food industry
Shamhuyenhanzva, Roy Malon
Van Tonder, Estelle
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eWOM communication is certainly one of the most influential drivers of purchase decisions. However, little knowledge is available on the factors that influence the trustworthiness and credibility of eWOM communication. To address this research gap, the study aimed to assess whether the three independent variables (homophily, authority and interestingness) have a significant positive indirect effect on eWOM credibility, as mediated by source trustworthiness. The context of the study was fast-food retailers. A cross-sectional survey was conducted and the target population included all Generation Y consumers that visited the fast-food market leaders in Gauteng province, the economic hub of South Africa. Lisrel version 8.8 was used to analyse the results obtained from a realised sample of 362 respondents and to compile the structural equation model. The findings of the study support the research hypotheses formulated and offer a theoretical contribution by enhancing knowledge of the relationships between the variables investigated as well as the factors that could influence eWOM credibility. The study also has meaning to fast-food retailers, as the model could be applied to formulate appropriate strategies and influence the online conversations and perceptions of consumers.