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"The problem is I like to use my mobile for a long time” – The negotiation of product qualities in online chats and its relation to product longevity

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conference contribution
posted on 2021-06-16, 15:05 authored by Melanie Jaeger-Erben, Florian Leckert, Erik Poppe, Marina Proske, Eduard Wagner
The majority of consumers search the internet if they want to buy a new product, either to gather information or to buy online. Many of them also use web forums to discuss purchase opportunities and get help from other consumers or experts. These forum discussions are an interesting source of information on how consumers evaluate the qualities of products, how they weight longevity relevant qualities like reliability and reparability over aspects like appearance and price. The paper presents a study on internet forums which are focused on purchase advice between peer consumers. Main questions were: How do the discussion differ between an up-to-date-product like smartphones and a durable product like washing machines? What is important for consumers to know before they decide for a product, what are the important qualities and what kind of experiences do they share in these forums? How long do consumers plan to use their product and how does this relates to the price they want to pay? The paper presents some initial qualitative and quantitative results on expectations and aspirations as influencers of washing machine and smartphone choice. They show that the valuation of longevity relevant product characteristics is influenced by the overall lifetime expectation and the range of functions a product offers. We assume that online forums and chats are a valuable but underexplored source of information about how product are perceived and valued and how these perceptions and values are socially constructed. For the research on product lifetimes they could provide first-hand information on the role of longevity relevant aspects in purchase decisions.

History

Publication

4th PLATE 2021 Virtual Conference, 26-28 May 2021;

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Language

English

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