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Babbling before banking? Online communities and pre-purchase information seeking

Berger, Sven C ; Messerschmidt, Christian M

International Journal of Bank Marketing, 04 September 2009, Vol.27(6), pp.446-466 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Babbling before banking? Online communities and pre-purchase information seeking
  • Author/Creator: Berger, Sven C ; Messerschmidt, Christian M
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Finance ; Communities ; Information Retrieval ; Internet ; Consumer Marketing ; Germany ; Business
  • Is Part Of: International Journal of Bank Marketing, 04 September 2009, Vol.27(6), pp.446-466
  • Description: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explain the use of online communities for information seeking in the financial products purchasing process and identify relevant usage antecedents.Design methodology approach - A theoretical framework is proposed based on the three dimensions community, environment and user characteristics. Subsequently, a representative survey among German consumers is described, illustrating the value of the framework.Findings - The study validates the framework to analyze online community usage and identifies financial knowledge and employment status as main drivers of financial community usage among user characteristic.Research limitations implications - The present study was carried out in only one country, but provides a starting point for more international research.Practical implications - The results identify community users as an interesting clientele, which should be considered in financial services providers' online strategy development, especially by encouraging word-of-mouth communication. Usage drivers should be considered in web site development to prevent churn. Providers of communities should be concerned about system usability, but also especially take measures to boost the social aspects of community experience.Originality value - The study is the first to explain online community usage in the economically highly relevant pre-purchase stage for financial services.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0265-2323 ; E-ISSN: 1758-5937 ; DOI: 10.1108/02652320910988320