E-consumer conformity and its impact on consumer attitude

Published date10 December 2018
Date10 December 2018
AuthorUtkal Khandelwal,Seemant Kumar Yadav,Vikas Tripathi,Vivek Agrawal
subjectMatterStrategy,International business
E-consumer conformity and its impact on
consumer attitude
Utkal Khandelwal, Seemant Kumar Yadav, Vikas Tripathi and Vivek Agrawal
Purpose With the tremendous increase in the number of netizens, online consumer behavior has
become an important issue nowadays. One of the important issues of online consumer behavior is e-
consumer conformity. This paper aims to explore prominent factors of e-consumer conformity and its
impact on consumer attitude,which helps marketers to understand this new business arenaand involve
this relationshipto enhance their business.
Design/methodology/approach For the purpose, convenience sampling was used withsample size
of 510. Offline as well as online mode of survey was applied. The resultant hypotheses (based on the
developed model depicting normative and informational consumer conformity effect on attitude) were
examinedby structured equation modeling.
Findings The present study presents the different dimensions of e-consumer conformity and its
difference in metro and non-metro cities on which marketers have to frame their strategies. The study
revealed that the customer attitudeis largely affected by others expectations (conformance with others
expectations, NCC)rather others knowledge and expertise (ICC). Additionally,the comparison of virtual
conformity behavior of metro and non-metro customers was made, and it was found that conformity
behaviordoes not significantly differ in these two contexts.
Practical implications Business saturation in metro cities, infrastructural growth and technological
advancement in non-metro cities, companies are moving toward non-metro cities. Due to contextual
differences existing between metro and non-metro market, it is difficult to trace the changes in the
marketing policies and devicethe appropriate strategy accordingly for the marketers.In lieu of this, the
present studypresents the different dimensions of e-consumerconformity and its degree of differencein
metro andnon-metro cities on which marketershave to frame their strategies.
Originality/value Good number of research has been conducted on consumer conformity in India;
however, there is a scarcity of literaturein virtual consumer conformity in India. This research is not only
establishing the relationship between virtual consumer conformity and consumer attitude but also
establishingthe difference of virtual consumerconformity in metro and non-metro citiesin India.
Keywords Consumer involvement, Consumer attitude, Consumer conformity
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
The past decade has witnessed a new form of social networking. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs
and WhatsApp have established the new form of social structures. These virtual
communications have also changed the modern consumer market structure. Internet users
increase with the rapid speed day by day so as the users of social network with 1,968
million users of Facebook, 1,200 million of WhatsApp, 600 million of Instagram and 319 of
Twitter by April 2017 and expected to reach 3.02 billion by 2021 (www.statista.com). The
world’s largest democracy and fastest developing economy, India, which is the research
context, are also witnessing such change in its social structure with respect to the internet
usage. The total internet users were 432 million in December 2016 (with urban has 269
million and 163 million in rural India), which rises to reach between 450-465 million by June
2017 says a report titled “Internetin India 2016”, jointly published by the internet and Mobile
Utkal Khandelwal is
Associate Professor,
Seemant Kumar Yadav is
Assistant Professor,
Vikas Tripathi is Professor
and Vivek Agrawal is
Associate Professor, all at
GLA University, Mathura,
Received 8 September 2015
Revised 17 February 2016
12 August 2016
14 February 2017
25 July 2017
Accepted 31 July 2017
DOI 10.1108/JABS-09-2015-0161 VOL. 12 NO. 4 2018, pp. 455-468, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1558-7894 jJOURNAL OF ASIA BUSINESS STUDIES jPAGE 455

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